Leon Goretzka and Marco Reus certainly made their impact off the bench in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Serbia. Reus was introduced at half time and added a different dimension to Germany’s attack, also setting up Goretzka’s equaliser. The duo will now be hoping to start Sunday’s European qualifier against the Netherlands in Amsterdam (20:45 CET) and spoke to the press earlier today.
...the Netherlands’ tactics: Last time we played them, they pressed us early and defended man-to-man. It will be important for us to work space with quick, one-touch passing going forward. Then when a chance comes to shoot, we need to work the goalkeeper and hopefully we’re clinical. We played well against them in Gelsenkirchen, but we failed to see out the win. Hopefully we will learn from that on Sunday. If we have the right mindset and work together as a team, then we have every chance of getting a result there. We need to be quick on the counter, stay compact in defence and we have to want it. If we do that on the night, then it’s difficult for anyone against us and I’m confident that we will win the game. Our aim is to give 100 percent and we will do all we can to get the three points.
...the Netherlands’ squad: They have a lot of quality and they have a good, young generation coming through. They still have some more experienced heads too though, so they have a good mix.
...his role as a leader in the team: It’s my job to carry responsibility at club level and I try to do the same here. It will take time though. A lot of young players have come into the squad and still need to find their feet. Our goal is to reach the same level we were at.
...his versatility: It’s a blessing rather than a curse. It’s good when the coach knows he can use you in different positions. It’s not something that worries me – I’m happy playing wherever the coach puts me.
...the atmosphere in the stadium against Serbia: It’s our job to improve the atmosphere, however, we also need the fans to show patience. We need to get them excited again and then I’m confident that the atmosphere will improve.
...the footballing rivalry between Germany and the Netherlands: It’s always been a special fixture, especially given that we’re neighbours. It’s an exciting clash so we will certainly be up for it. I used to go on family holidays to the Netherlands and I grew up with the rivalry. It’s sure to be a feisty game.
...the tactical approach: They will try to close us down quickly. They play with a high line so there will be space in behind. We need to get our fast players in good positions and make sure we time our balls behind the defence well. That’s our best chance of getting goals.
...leaders in the team: It depends how you define a leader. For me, the foundation needed is to first deliver on the pitch. That’s where you build from and I’m trying to do that myself. You need to let your football do the talking consistently. I think I’m getting to the stage now where I can take on a leadership role.
...his versatility: Marco and I were both very versatile in the second half against Serbia. It’s an advantage to have several players capable of playing in different positions. Your football isn’t too static then and a more flexible approach can create gaps.
...the racist abuse against Gündogan and Sané during the Serbia game: I saw the video [by reporter André Voigt describing the incident] and I was very moved, but I was also appalled by what he said happened. It’s something that needs to be dealt with resolutely. We at the DFB have stressed more than enough that we stand for diversity and that integration shouldn’t be a topic up for discussion. I call for all of us to tackle this kind of behaviour with courage and put these people in their place.###more###