Germany ready to face Austria; Podolski, Lahm fit to play

16th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

Germany ready to perform after loss to Croatia

Vienna -- Germany coach Joachim Loew said on Sunday he was confident that his team would present themselves in a very different manner than they did in the 2-1 defeat against Croatia.

Germany go into Monday's Group B game against the co-hosts Austria in the Ernst Happel stadium knowing that a draw will be enough to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

"We were disappointing against Croatia, but the team will be different tomorrow. Some 30 million fans will be watching, we are aware of that and we have to win the game for our fans and our nation," Loew told the pre-match press conference.

"We will certainly not underestimate our opponents. They were impressive in their two games, they play with a lot of energy."

He again dismissed any talk of Cordoba, referring to the 3-2 defeat in the Argentine city that Austria inflicted on the then world champions during the 1978 World Cup, knocking the Germans out of the competition.

"Most of my players were not even born then. You can't compare the two matches. Then Austria had nothing to play for, now they have a chance to advance to the next round."

Loew said he would not select his team according to the Austrian team. "We will play our game, I am not interested in their strategy and tactics, we want to impose our game."

He welcomed a heart-to-heart talk that the players had amongst themselves after the 2-1 defeat against Croatia. "I think it was a good thing that players had a chance to talk to each other."

"We should not point fingers at each other and we should question ourselves not each other. That is why I encouraged the players to talk to each other."

He said that he was not concerned that his players would not be up to the pressure. "I know that our team can manage pressure. We do not play the 'what if' game. Pressure helps now and then and it allows us to live up to the challenge.

"If we can realise and implement our ability there is no reason to be afraid of our opponents."

Earlier in the day, there was some good news for the coach, as he was told that striker Lukas Podolski would be fit to play on Monday.

Podolski, who has scored all of Germany's three goals at the tournament, suffered a minor ankle injury in Thursday's 2-1 defeat against Croatia.

But assistant coach Hansi Flick said the Bayern Munich forward has recovered and is ready to play against Austria.

Flick also confirmed that Podolski's teammate Philipp Lahm can play against Austria while a third Munich player, Marcell Jansen, will be sidelined with a shoulder injury.

However, Jansen was not expected to play after a poor showing against Croatia.

0 Comments To This Article