Germany will resume their World Cup qualifying campaign against Liechtenstein in St. Gallen, Switzerland in just two days’ time (Thursday 2nd September, 20:45 CEST). Marco Reus, Ilkay Gündogan and Ridle Baku gave a press conference about how the squad are preparing for the game on day two of Germany’s training camp in Stuttgart.
Marco Reus on...
...his return to the national team: It’s a great feeling, and I’m glad to be here again. The first few training sessions have been good, we’ve worked hard and the coach has tried to explain his philosophy to us. It will take some time before we can implement it, but as a team, we are getting used to the style of play.
...the return of fans in the stadium: It gives us a real adrenaline boost, because the atmosphere in the grounds is always amazing. More so for home games than away games, but nothing beats seeing fans back in stadia, enjoying the football.
...conversations with Hansi Flick: We had a constructive, positive chat about possible eventualities and whether or not I wanted to play for the national team, which was a simple decision. I appreciate him reaching out to me so quickly.
...his aspirations: First and foremost I always want to play, as does everyone. The expectations for our performances have been redefined, and everyone will need to deliver their best. I have personally worked on my game by reviewing the European Championship matches and looking closely at my performance in these games. We should now all look forward together. We are happy with the fresh start and with the new energy both on and off the pitch.
...the new style of play: We have a good setup and many great players who can press quickly and cover a lot of ground. When you win the ball high up the pitch then you are close to the opposition goal. The team is adapting well. It will be a good test to play against strong national team sides. That will really help us to develop.
...his role in the team: I am also trying to take on some responsibilities. We divided it out very well amongst ourselves in the last few years, and I hope to play a key role in the side. If you perform well, you get your chances, but then you to consistently perform over a long period.
...World Cup qualification: We want to gather some new momentum over the three games, so that the fans can get behind us again. We’ll need to play well for that to happen.
Ilkay Gündogan on...
... his thoughts on the national team: I am very happy to be part of the team once again. We’ve had two intense seasons at club level without many breaks, which does make you start to wonder how and if you can continue to carry on. I’ve had some good discussions and in the end, it was an easy decision. The people around you can help shape your opinion because sometimes you don’t want to form an opinion on your own. After I spoke to the head coach, I was able to better understand his ideas and this was important to me. I am glad that he took the time to speak to me, I really appreciated it.
...the upcoming fixtures: The defeat in World Cup qualifying [2-1 vs. North Macedonia] put us in a bit of a tight spot. We want to win all of the next three games and we’re feeling motivated ahead of them. We need to prove on the pitch why we’re group favourites.
...the upcoming World Cup: The older you get, the fewer chances you have to play in international tournaments. It could be my last chance, so that’s certainly a motivation, but first things first, we need to qualify.
...his experience: I am taking on more responsibility as one of the more senior squad players. The new players that are coming in are getting younger and younger, but that’s normal. I’m trying to share my experience and lead by example.
...the status quo of the national team: In terms of potential, I don’t think we’re too far behind the best of them, but we have unfortunately not been able to live up to this potential in recent months. It’s good that the team is somewhat refreshed and has a new style of play. The first few sessions have been really promising, we need to take as much in as we can and implement it as soon as possible.
Ridle Baku on...
...his first impressions: I am happy to be back playing with the best again. I got a feel for it all on my debut and continued to work hard and put in good performances. I am really glad that a few of us from the U21s have been called up to the first team.
...his qualities: I mainly played on the right last season and got a few goals and assists. I would class myself as an attacking-minded defender.
...the U21 European champions in the squad: The lads have come on tremendously as players, they’re hungry and want to carry on getting selected and establish their place in the first team.
...his move to Wolfsburg: Looking back on it, it was 100 percent the right move. It was a good time for me to move and I was able to further my development. Of course, there are still some areas that I need to work on.”