Germany finally picked up their first win in the UEFA Nations League at the seventh attempt last night in Ukraine. Joachim Löw’s side won 2-1, which was also their first victory in 2020, after three consecutive draws. The national coach spoke about the renewed criticism after the game.
Question: Joachim Löw, what are your thoughts after the first Nations League win?
Joachim Löw: I’m satisfied that we won the game. We didn’t do everything we wanted to, but some things at least. We had big chances to kill the game off at 2-0. We didn’t let them have many chances from open play and we were strong at the back. For the most part, we were alert and concentrated well.
Question: What did you think about the penalty that led to Ukraine making it 2-1?
Löw: The penalty was avoidable. Niklas Süle needed to just stand the Ukraine player up – there was no real danger.
Question: What other things were you unhappy with?
Löw: We gave the ball away too easily on some occasions and we played too many long balls into the midfield in the first half.
Question: Your side has let several leads slip in recent games. How important was this win?
Löw: Wins are the glue that hold the team together. They give the side confidence and this is what we need going into EURO 2020.
Question: There has been a bit of criticism after the past few games. What have you made of that?
Löw: Anyone can offer criticism, but I can live with it. I’ve experienced many different opinions in the last 16 years. You often do some self-reflection because of it too. I know how to put the criticism into perspective. The important thing for us is to question ourselves and work hard on us. Overall, we are building up to the EUROs. People need to understand where we are coming from. We were at a real low at end of 2018 after the World Cup. We won’t allow ourselves to be knocked off course just because we drew 1-1 with Spain or 3-3 with Turkey. We have a clear plan and we believe in it. I trust my players and our approach. We know what we are doing.
Question: Switzerland are up next on Tuesday. Will you make changes for that one?
Löw: It’s important that the players get used to one another. The team that played tonight hasn’t been together for over ten months. If everyone’s fit, I won’t make many changes to the starting XI.
Question: This game was in a high-risk area for the coronavirus. How was the trip?
Löw: We followed all the guidelines. I didn’t feel in any real danger. We will also need to be careful in this bubble in Cologne.