Germany still hoping for victory in Thailand

20th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 December 2004, BANGKOK - A number of reserve players will get their chance to shine when World Cup runners-up Germany aim to complete their Asian tour with a victory in their first meeting with Thailand on Tuesday. Captain Michael Ballack, goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, striker Miroslav Klose, defender Christian Woerns and midfielders Bernd Schneider and Fabian Ernst will get a deserved rest. "Those who went the full distance against Japan and South Korea will get a rest. (Timo) Hildebrand will take Kahn's pla

20 December 2004

BANGKOK - A number of reserve players will get their chance to shine when World Cup runners-up Germany aim to complete their Asian tour with a victory in their first meeting with Thailand on Tuesday.

Captain Michael Ballack, goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, striker Miroslav Klose, defender Christian Woerns and midfielders Bernd Schneider and Fabian Ernst will get a deserved rest.

"Those who went the full distance against Japan and South Korea will get a rest. (Timo) Hildebrand will take Kahn's place. We planned this all the way and will act accordingly," said coach Juergen Klinsmann.

Germany won 3-0 in Japan last Thursday but then had to swallow the first defeat during Klinsmann's reign since July when they lost 3-1 in South Korea.

But neither Klinsmann nor the players - or the German media on Monday - were concerned about the loss.

"We are not as good as we thought," said the Bild daily mildly.

Kicker sports magazine said: "The first defeat in the Klinsmann era won't shatter the team spirit."

Klinsmann had said from the start that the further improvement of the team spirit was a key aspect of the trip 18 months ahead of the 2006 World Cup where Germany are hosts and with it among the favourites.

"We deal with the defeat in the same way as with victories. We try to learn from it. The whole trip is about team development. In this respect such an experience (of losing a game) may not be bad at all," said Klinsmann.

The two games showed that the atmosphere is intact, and a victory on Tuesday against Thailand will complete the trip on a positive note ahead of the next serious test in February against Argentina.

The VfB Stuttgart goalkeeper Hildebrand will win his second cap and Hanover 96 defender Per Mertesacker returns into the defence.

Klinsmann was due to announce his full starting 11 later on Monday or even on Tuesday after the team arrived earlier Monday in the sweltering heat of Bangkok.

The weather conditions may be the only aspect in favour of the Thais who are coached by former German World Cup player Sigi Held.

Thailand were eliminated early in World Cup qualifying and a recent first-round exit in the Tiger Cup, a tournament they won three times in the past, added to the country's woes.

Held is building a young team featuring Vietnam-based Terdsak Chaiman as playmaker and Piyawat Tongman and Sarayuth Chaikumdee up front.

Sarayuth gained fame with a hat-trick within four minutes in their only Tiger Cup win, 8-0 over East Timor, but the three-time World Cup winners Germany will be of a different calibre.

"We will play with a safety first attitude. If we play to our potential the result is secondary," said Held.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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