DFB.de: Lukas, the under 21s got things started with a well-deserved 3-0 win against Hungary. Is it a good feeling?
Lukas Nmecha: Yes, absolutely. It was fun to be back out on the pitch with the gang. In the first half we made things difficult for ourselves, we weren’t playing our best. But in the second half our will build-up play was quicker and more direct. We put in lots of crosses and finally scored the goal.
DFB.de: What did the coach say at half-time?
Nmecha: He told us to take less touches on the ball and to let the ball do the work, but he also wanted us to put more crosses into the box. I think we did that well. You have to consider that it was our first 45 minutes playing together since November last year, and we had very little time to prepare. So it’s natural for there to be a few difficulties at first. Luckily we were then able to play a strong second-half.
DFB.de: Your goal seemed to open the floodgates. Why did things turn out better after that?
Nmecha: When you play against a team that defends deep and would be satisfied with a draw, it’s obviously easier once you have scored a goal and they have to come out in search of a way back into the game.
DFB.de: What good will this win do for the team looking ahead to the days to come?
Nmecha: It gives us lots of confidence, which is important. We can now take a positive feeling into the next game, as well as the belief that we are able to win. 3-0 is a great result for us because the Netherlands and Romania drew in the other game.
DFB.de: What makes the U21s so special for you?
Nmecha: I’ve been here a while now and right from the start I noticed that there is something special about it. It was also one of the reasons why I wanted to play for Germany. It’s about the coaching staff and the head coach in particular. His team talks are the perfect motivation, he drives us to give everything. On top of that there is a team behind the team. They make it easy for us players. As a team, we all get along really well. Some of the lads have already played together in younger Germany teams. Even if there are a few new players, we feel like family. That means there’s always a good mood around camp.