Loew: Ready for next step despite bad memories
Updated: 2016-06-16 09:42
Germany's coach Joachim Loew attends a news conference in Lille, France on June 11, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
PARIS - Arriving in Paris for their second group match against Poland this Thursday, German head coach Joachim Loew must feel confirmed in his opinion.
Right after the start of Euro 2016, the 56-year old German coach has seen many tight group matches, often defensive sides and not what you call a goal festival.
"We will have to go through two tournament stages. The group and then the knock-out phase. A tournament is a marathon no short race," Loew predicted and said.
He would count on a "step by step" strategy. Facing their strongest Group C opponents, the next step for the 2014 World Champion could be to already qualify for the next round by beating Poland.
So far often a dead-ball situation was necessary to win. Strongly fancied teams have also been held to a draw and have to hope for better things in the next game. Only Italy, Hungary and Germany managed to win their first game by a two goal margin.
After beating Ukraine 2-0, Loew does not feel pressured into changing his first-eleven too much despite having central defender Mats Hummels available again.
Looking at the Loew's last four tournaments such as the European Championships 2008 and 2012 as well as the World Cup`s 2010 and 2014, the German head coach never changed the first-game line-up in the second game.
If he does this time, Shkodran Mustafi could be replaced by Hummels despite Mustafi's goal against the Ukraine.
Not to change winning ways seems to be the best choice from Loew's perspective as he and his team will face a return to the Stade de France which is burdened with sad memories.
On November 13th 2015, the German team had the harrowing experience of living through the terrorist attacks in Paris that left over 130 people dead and directly affected their friendly against France.
As a security precaution, the German and French teams had to spend the night in their locker rooms and were not allowed to leave before the next morning.
"Of course it' s still in our minds, but we feel safe and we are looking forward to a football game against a strong team like Poland," Loew said.
He and his coaching-staff have prepared the entire team for the return to Stade de France but said, he is ready to think about football and the challenge against Poland from now on.
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