...the national team’s recent performances: We have been very solid in our last few games, but we need to keep working to improve our chemistry. It’s a very important step in growing as a team. We are in a good position, but we need to keep up our performances in the next few games and try to reach our potential. We still have a lot of time, but we’re trying to build a team that has the quality to become champions next summer.
...their upcoming opponents: They are very important games in our bid for qualification; we are coming up against the two best opponents in our group. We are looking forward to the game against Holland in front of our fans. We want to build on our recent performances. It’s important to put out a strong performance, and to make sure that we get the three points. Then we can focus on the next game against Northern Ireland.
...the Netherlands’ strengths: They are a very dynamic team and are dangerous at playing out from the back. They have fantastic individuals, and play really well together as a team. That’s why their attack was so dangerous the last time we played them. They’re flexible, adaptable and quick so we need to stay alert at all times. But we also have strengths of our own. We were able to find lots of space against Holland in our last encounter, which allowed us to score. It will be an even game, but we are determined to win it.
...if they can win the trophy next summer: It’s difficult to say. It doesn’t just depend on us; there are lots of top teams around Europe. We have performed really well recently, and we need to keep this going. There’s still a lot of work to do. Of course, winning the trophy is a difficult task, both for the players and the coaching staff. Winning the European Championship is a dream for all of us, and me personally. However, I like to live in the here and now and I’m not thinking about next summer just yet.
...Timo Werner’s form: It’s a huge benefit for the national team that he’s in such great form, especially while Leroy Sané is unavailable.
...his run of form in the Bundesliga: It’s always a fantastic feeling to score a goal. The last time I scored a hattrick was as a youth player; this was my first as a professional (in RB Leipzig’s 3-1 win over Mönchengladbach).
...the game against the Netherlands: We can always score goals. As long as we defend well, we have more than enough quality to score goals of our own. In Virgil van Dijk, the Netherlands have one of the best, if not the best, defenders in the world. It’s a special feeling to play against these types of players, because you always want to compete with the best players in the world. But, he can’t defend all by himself. We certainly have enough quality to score goals.
...his aspirations for the national team: I didn’t perform as well as I could have in our last few games. That’s why the goal against Estonia was so important for me. My aspiration is to transfer my form in club competitions over to the national team. I trust myself to do this. All I can do is perform as well as I can in league games in and training, then it’s up to the coach to decide who starts.
...being reunited with his national teammates: We are all very happy, we haven’t seen each other for a long time. Playing for the national team is always something special; you get to play with the best players in the country.