"I’m totally satisfied that we have the three points," was Joachim Löw’s assessment after the hard-fought 2-1 win over Scotland. "It was clear the match would be difficult." In an interview with DFB.de, the national team coach discussed Germany’s upcoming EURO 2016 qualifiers, potential team changes and double scorer Thomas Müller.
Question: Mr Löw, how relieved were you after defeating Scotland 2-1?
Joachim Löw: I’m totally satisfied that we have the three points. That was my only expectation of the team. It was clear the match would be difficult, because some players have yet to find their rhythm. We lost control of the match in the second half and became less well organised, but it was good to see us react after the equaliser.
Question: What needs to be improved before the next qualifiers in October?
Löw: Right now we’re in that phase after pre-season where experience shows us that fatigue can set in. The players will be fresher again come October, but we’ll have to improvise because some players will probably be out for longer than that. Over the next six months, we’ll probably change the team around a lot. We have to face that fact and make the best of it, but it doesn’t worry me because I know we’ll manage when it matters.
Question: You surprised many by naming Sebastian Rudy at right-back. How did you come to that decision?
Löw: After the Argentina match, I thought about giving it a try in training, and I knew he had already played in that position before. He has the necessary ball control.
Question: How pleased were you with him and his counterpart Erik Durm?
Löw: I was happy with their performances because they tried to create pressure, but they’re both young and still need to gain experience.
Question: Would you rather get two players settled into these positions or will there be a wider casting process between now and EURO 2016?
Löw: We’ll have a look at some players in the league over the next few months and try one or two of them out. Kevin Großkreutz probably won’t continue to play in that position at Dortmund. Freiburg’s Oliver Sorg and Christian Günter are promising players. They’ve been with our squad before and I can imagine them playing some matches. Antonio Rüdiger made a very strong impression with his defensive work in training.
Question: Is there also the possibility of playing a different defensive line-up such as Bayern’s back three without traditional full-backs?
Löw: That’s been playing on my mind for a long while now. There are certainly advantages to that setup, but it’s not easy to implement with our players because our wide players like André Schürrle, Thomas Müller, Marco Reus and Julian Draxler have good attacking qualities, so we need to retain them. The danger of a back three is that these players could get pinned too far back, which might cause us to lose our quality, power and dynamism.
Question: Thomas Müller scored again against Scotland. Can he still surprise you?
Löw: At first his coolness and hunger to score goals surprised me, but now Thomas can’t surprise me any more. He’s always in the thick of the action, where he needs to be.