The coach applauds: Horst Hrubesch compliments his side who have qualified for next year's world cup
Germany have qualified for the 2019 Women’s World Cup thanks to a convincing 8-0 win over the Faroe Islands. Hrubesch will temporarily stay with the team as future coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who takes over after the conclusion of World Cup qualification, will lead Switzerland into a World Cup play-off. In an interview with DFB.de, the 67-year-old talks about extending his time with the squad, how his team is progressing and his experience of women’s football.
DFB.de: Horst Hrubesch, congratulations on qualifying for the World Cup. For the time being, you are staying as Germany coach as Switzerland face a play-off to qualify. What are your thoughts?
Horst Hrubesch: We knew this situation could’ve occurred. Of course we had hoped that Martina would secure direct World Cup qualification with Switzerland, but I was prepared for this situation. Fingers crossed for her in the play-offs. Of course we will be in contact with Martina in the coming weeks, although we don’t it want to impact her Switzerland commitments too much. The play-offs are tricky enough as it is.
DFB.de: It was clear to see at full-time in the Faroe Islands match how much pressure had been relieved from the Germany players. What was going through your mind at this point?
Hrubesch: You have already seen progress in previous games as the players relaxed. They’re having fun again. Our main task was to directly qualify for the World Cup but at the same time, I wanted more. I wanted to continue to improve the team and to play with more ease and clarity. We showed this in the second half against the Faroe Islands with how we outplayed our opponents without battling too hard. The team have made a lot of progress forward and it has been fantastic to see the way they have approached the task at hand.
DFB.de: What does the team need to do to return to the highest level possible in women’s football?
Hrubesch: We are at an advantage having qualified early, meaning that we have time to work with the team ahead of next year’s tournament. We now need to implement our next steps so that we have the chance to tweak things in between matches. Of course all of our arrangements have been agreed with Martha. For example, we won’t be playing in the She Believes Cup nor the Algarve Cup as we would like to have more time to work with the team. It has all been about World Cup qualification in recent weeks. The girls have done a great job and they deserve a compliment from me for their efforts. The character in the squad has been phenomenal.
DFB.de: Looking back on the beginning of your time in charge, what has been your greatest challenge?
Hrubesch: The main question was whether I could get the players on my side and whether they would buy into my ideas. I gave the players the opportunity to explain their ideas to me and then we came to an agreement of how to progress forwards. It was all about how I could bring all the quality that we possess together on the pitch. It wasn’t just about tactics, such as adopting an attacking or defensive style, but also how the team works together and develops. At the beginning, there was no guarantee that this would work but in the end we got back on track and qualified. The girls know that this is just the start.
DFB.de: How would you sum up your experience with the team?
Hrubesch: I’m glad that I have taken on the role of coaching the women’s national team. The way in which everyone has approached the task at hand and their attitude has been brilliant. Of course we had to win and qualify for the World Cup, which was our main objective. We have given Martina a great platform to work with. I don’t feel any sadness leaving the team, instead pure pleasure. I’m aware that I need to handover the team to Martha but I believe the players are already ready for it. I’m very grateful for the experience I have had with them.