Germany have arrived in Sochi ahead of their match vs. Sweden and have well and truly put the Mexico match behind them. The mission from here is simple: win the next two matches vs. Sweden and South Korea. Die Mannschaft has already been working to learn from its mistakes against El Tri and forge their game plan for Saturday.
Thomas Muller and team manager Oliver Bierhoff spoke at the first press conference in Sochi after the team’s main training session. They both guaranteed that Germany would show a great response in their next match (via dfb.de and dfb.de). The sloppy errors vs. Mexico, Muller revealed, have been a big focus in the sessions and discussions since then:
The game has been digested in detail in the past few days. Of course, our performance presented angles of attack for analyzing mistakes, which is appropriate. What you can say is that we are self-critical enough to analyze the situation the right way. It’s often the case that a ball loss is caused by being over-motivated. The mixture of patience and determination is therefore very important. Against Sweden, we are expecting a defensive block.
Germany’s tune-up friendlies leading up to the World Cup, Muller admitted, didn’t quite go as planned, affecting the team’s sharpness:
It’s basically the case that we acted too casually in the friendlies. We thought that we would bring the usual freshness and strength onto the pitch when the tournament started. In hindsight, we misjudged the situation and made similar mistakes to those in the tuneup games.
Everyone in the squad realizes the difficult situation they’re in at the moment; win the next two matches, or risk not advancing from the group stages. Bierhoff is confident that all of the players in the squad, both young and veteran, will show the necessary reaction to get a result on Saturday:
A reaction will come from every player. Everyone knows that we did not give the performance that we are capable of. The first step is to concentrate on one’s own performance and then keep calm, show leadership and bring one’s qualities. The situation is clear: we have to win both games. We cannot take any risks; it’s in our own hands. We of course have to take the first step, which is Sweden.
Although Germany have backs against the wall, Bierhoff remains optimistic that there’s enough talent in the squad to cope with the pressure and get the job done as a cohesive unit. What makes him so optimistic?
The level of experience in the team, that can always tap their maximum potential ability in important moments. Everyone has set ambitious goals; everyone is determined to offer even more, even to question oneself, and to win the game as a team.