Head coach Joachim Löw and Germany captain Manuel Neuer spoke to the press ahead of Tuesday’s Last 16 clash with England at Wembley. DFB.de has all the important quotes.
…the game and the opponent: Every game between these two sides at a tournament has been spoken about for many years afterwards. This is a fixture that captivates everyone. It’s an all-or-nothing game, the losing team are out, so the magnitude is a given. All I can say is that I can sense that we are as motivated as is humanly possible. We have looked at England very closely. First and foremost, we are excited to play, excited for the evening. It’s my passion to be involved in games like this, that will be no different tomorrow.
…the EUROs so far: It’s difficult to judge – the really important games are still to come, after all. Italy, Belgium and England got through the group stage really well, but that’s not always a good indicator for the rest of the tournament, as we saw with the Netherlands yesterday. It remains to be seen who will reach the final. It’s not unusual for teams to be shaky at the start of a tournament. What you can see is that the games are fast-paced, there’s not a lot of space or time on the ball. You can sense that teams are defending and attacking quickly and as a unit. The man on the ball does not have a lot of time to make the right decision. The standard in a lot of the games has been really high.
…Serge Gnabry: I‘ve been observing him at training, and he’s not given me the impression that he’s lacking confidence. He knows that strikers are judged on scoring goals. He’s extremely hardworking, puts in extra shifts – sometimes you even have to apply the brakes for him. I will remind the players of their strengths once again, remind them what they are capable of.
…the key to winning knockout games: Like I said after the Hungary game, there are no rewards for playing nice football, all that mattered was getting out of the group. Now all that matters is winning. We don’t need to believe or think that we will have lots of spectacular moments. You can only win the game if you perform. We need to throw everything at it, need to stay calm and composed and not let anything derail us. Individual moments decide the game in the end, whether I convert my big chance, whether I stay switched on at the back, whether I make a mistake – that’s what decided games.
…the squad: There are three players with whom we’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Ilkay Gündogan bruised his head and he was a bit dizzy yesterday after training, so we’ll have to see. He wasn’t able to complete the full session today, but that had been agreed beforehand anyway. Robin Gosens and Antonio Rüdiger completed training in full, but the doctors have said we’ll have to wait, because both had a minor infection. So we will have to see if that has been made worse after training. We’ve not been able to reach a decision yet, we will have to do so tomorrow morning.
…A penalty shootout: Naturally, we have tried to simulate a couple of potential scenarios. You can’t just transfer that into a game very easily though. It’s a completely different story during a game. It’s an unbelievable amount of pressure stepping up for a penalty in a shootout and not knowing if you’re the one who’s going to miss. Both coaches will certainly try to win the game in regulation or extra time. The walk up to a penalty can be a very long one.
…Jamal Musiala: If he comes on and doesn’t score the winning goal then we’re sending him back to England (laughs). I was winding him up about it a bit yesterday. He knows it was a big decision, but it came from the heart. He took a few weeks to get settled, but he’s shown more and more of his potential in the last few days. When he comes on, you know he’s going to be unpredictable.
…a special Last 16 tie: It’s a footballing classic. We are highly motivated and it’s nice to be going into what feels like a final, after starting with a final against France.
…a potential penalty shootout: Our goalkeeper coach (Andreas Köpke) knows all about penalty shootouts at Wembley. You automatically talk about penalty takers ahead of the knockout phase. Anything can happen. If you know the takers, it’s always a matter of gut instinct. Preparation is very important to me.
…his expectations of the game: England have defended really well so far, given their opponents nothing, nevertheless, they have only scored two goals themselves. We need to be solid at the back. Weh ave also scored a lot of goals – that speaks volumes for our quality and our flexibility. We were getting a lot of added energy from the bench as well. It could be a game of patience tomorrow, if we set up well. England can counter, they have fast players who we don’t want running at us in one-on-ones.
…the plan to take the knee before kick-off: We stand for tolerance and stand against any form of discrimination. We want to show solidarity with the England national team, so we will be taking the knee as well. We are happy to join them in doing so and did not need long to make that decision.
…the opposition and Harry Kane: We know how good he has been this season in the Premier League. Harry Kane sacrificed a lot for the team during the group stage. It’s always dangerous when a striker like that is waiting for a goal. He will be fully-motivated. We know what he is capable of.
…England’s respect for Germany: It’s difficult to say what they think of us. The rivalry is based on mutual respect. We know what quality weh ave and are convinced that we can beat England. We know they have a strong team with a lot of attacking options, which we need to shut down.
…the atmosphere in the dressing room: Everyone will try to give his best, regardless of how many minutes he plays. You could see that from the substitutes against Hungary, who kept giving us more energy as a team. Everyone will be trying to play their part.