After a 3-0 friendly victory and an encouraging performance against Mexico, the Germany U21s will face the Republic of Ireland in a UEFA European Championship qualifier. Only Felix Uduokhai completed the full 90 minutes as Stefan Kuntz put out a different team in each half. Striker Aaron Seydel came on in the second half and was able to get on the scoresheet. DFB.de spoke to the 22-year-old about the team’s performance against Mexico, the quality in the team and the Euro qualifier in Dublin.
Dfb.de: Aaron Seydel, are the Germany U21s made up of two equally strong teams and will they play a half each again in the future?
Seydel: We are of course always one team so I would have to say no. We all want to play together to reach our goals. Today it was something out of the ordinary that we completely switched the team at half-time. However, it shows that we have a high level of quality within the squad and it will be difficult for the coach every time to pick the starting line-up.
Dfb.de: Could you see from the bench in the first half where the Mexican team’s weaknesses were?
Seydel: I guess it is a small advantage, if you come off the bench as you can watch the opposition play first. That's why the game was easier in the second half and also because the Mexicans may have taken their foot off the gas. We worked hard after the break and so we got the goals and the result that we deserved.
Dfb.de: On Monday you scored the winning goal for Holsten Kiel against FC Magdeburg. Is this the beginning of a purple patch?
Seydel: If I score again on Tuesday and we beat Ireland, then you will be right (laughs).
Dfb.de: Janni Serra who is your teammate at Kiel played in the first half and scored to make it 1-0. Do you see him as a competitor for a place in the first team?
Seydel: We are happy for every goal that either of us scores, whether it is for our club or the U21s. We have known each other for about a year now through the U21s and we have been playing together at Kiel for a few weeks now. It is a nice situation and we get along well. We both have always wanted to play and that is clear.
Dfb.de: Too many substitutions can disrupt the rhythm of the game. How did your team play well today, even though there were ten changes?
Seydel: We were prepared perfectly for the game and for the opposition and we know already that we were going to make changes at half-time. We have clever lads in the squad and everyone has good footballing brains. We analysed the opposition thoroughly and we have played in this system before. Everything worked and went to plan and so we were able to show our quality on the pitch today.
Dfb.de: On Tuesday you play against the Republic of Ireland in a Euro qualifier. They recently drew 1-1 to Kosovo. A victory in Dublin could extend your lead over Ireland to five points.
Seydel: It is always our aim to win and we will try to in Ireland. It would be a good step forward for us to go five points ahead. However, it will be a difficult game.
Dfb.de: What do you expect from this game?
Seydel: I think it will be a very physical game. The Irish are very robust and do not shy away from a physical battle. We have a good mentality and we won’t be pushed over easily. Therefore, we need to be alert and show them that we are better.