It was not a victory for Germany on Wednesday evening, but Joachim Löw was able to pick up some key impressions from the 1-1 draw with Denmark. Löw sat down with DFB.de to discuss his conclusions from the match along with the two returnees to the national team.
DFB.de: Joachim, how would you sum up the draw with Denmark?
Joachim Löw: There were bright spells and shadowy patches, but it was already clear to me beforehand that that would happen. The link-up play and our runs weren’t quite there yet, but we could have won the game. We made life difficult for ourselves by failing to get the second goal.
DFB.de: What things have to improve for the European Championship?
Joachim Löw: We have to fit in a few intensive sessions before the Latvia game and work on our tactics in particular. There’s room for improvement on our set pieces and we need to practice a few things both in defence and attack. Our communication on the pitch is also something we need to make better.
DFB.de: What were your thoughts on returnees Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller?
Joachim Löw: As with everyone, they’re not quite there yet. Both had good games though. Mats had an issue with his knee at the start of the second half which stopped him from sprinting at his maximum, but that’s not the end of the world. It’ll be fine after a bit of rest.
DFB.de: What were your impressions of Florian Neuhaus? Do you think he’s pushing for a start at the Euros?
Joachim Löw: He had a good game and did a lot of running. He helped out a lot defensively. It’s important that players who might not be the first names on the team sheet play at a high level and keep the pressure on regular starters. They have to drive others on through competition for places. Flo is a very good footballer with a lot of football intelligence. I’m delighted with his progress.
DFB.de: You set Germany up with a three-man backline last night. What was the reason for that?
Joachim Löw: I wanted to make sure we kept the centre very compact with the extra centre-back and we managed that well. It’s definitely an option for us going into the Euros. The priority for us is keeping clean sheets and limiting opponents’ chances, while getting our noses in front. You can’t always be chasing deficits.
DFB.de: Did you think Germany lacked effectiveness up front?
Joachim Löw: Yes, it’s been a problem we’ve had for a while. We create a lot of opportunities for ourselves, but we don’t take them. How well we do will depend on whether we can overcome that and finish our chances. We have to keep working on that.
DFB.de: What’s the plan for the coming days?
Joachim Löw: Thursday is a day of rest and recovery for everyone. On Friday, all of the boys will be back on the training pitch if everything goes to plan, apart from Leon Goretzka and possibly Emre Can. Then we’ll be working on our attacking play in the session itself.