Two games, two wins. The Germany women’s national side have had a successful restart in their mission to qualify for the 2022 EUROs. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg discusses extraordinary circumstances, the match against England on 27th October and the character of her side in interview with DFB.de.
DFB.de: What’s your verdict on the 3-0 win against Montenegro with an entirely different starting eleven to that against Ireland?
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg: We decided to rotate to manage the players‘ workloads. The team that lined up against Montenegro was largely inexperienced. The willingness to implement what we’d worked on was there, but, under difficult circumstances, we just made too many technical errors. That’s partly down to nerves, partly due to the fact that the playing surface wasn’t ideal and also that we still need to learn how to deal with pressure as a side.
DFB.de: How do you think the German side is doing at the moment?
Voss-Tecklenburg: We’ve picked up six points and we’re still unbeaten in the group. Games like that against Montenegro are difficult for us. You could see that they weren’t nice to play against; they were sitting behind the ball trying to limit the damage. That’s why it’s hard to know where we’re at. We’re still developing. All the experience that we can get in these internationals will help us. It's really important, for example, that we’re able to learn things after not such a great performance.
DFB.de: Both the qualifiers since the restart have had to take place under special circumstances for you and your side. How do you think it went?
Voss-Tecklenburg: Everyone’s been saying again and again how much we’ve been looking forward to it. How much we’ve enjoyed being on the pitch again and being able to play again – even under difficult circumstances. Everyone has done their best to implement the hygiene measures; it’s a really unique situation. You have to stay in the hotel and we’ve had to adapt a lot. But we were all just pleased to be able to play again.
DFB.de: What does it say about your team that you’ve all adapted to the circumstances?
Voss-Tecklenburg: It shows the great strength of character and how we’ve all got to grips with the difficult situation. Our players reflect and realise how lucky they are to have football. We don’t take it for granted. Perhaps one or two people who don’t play sport don’t understand the value of team sport at such a difficult time, in terms of values and helping people. That’s why it’s great that we’re in such a privileged position and that we are able to play football again.
DFB.de: Looking to the future, how important is the game in Wiesbaden in October against England for you to gauge your progress?
Voss-Tecklenburg: I always say that you can’t judge a side from just one game. It’s true that we’ll be coming up against a top opponent in England, but it’s also true that they’ll face a top opponent in us. Those are exactly the games we need to learn from and the games in which we can compare ourselves to the top sides. That’s why it’s important to keep testing ourselves against the top ten sides in the world. We want to play as many of the best teams as we can before the European Championship.