Friday, 22 November 2013

Löw: "We've taken a step forward in 2013", 20.11.2013

It was a win at the end of the international year, a win in a classic fixture, and a win at Wembley against England. The 1-0 victory marked Joachim Löw's 101st international match as coach and his 69th win. For the national team coach, it was "a real pleasure" to win at English football's spiritual home. interviewed Löw after the match.

Question: How do you rate this 1-0 away win against England at Wembley?

Joachim Löw: It's a real pleasure to have won at this legendary stadium. We completely deserved our victory and were in control for most of the game. We kept the ball very well, but missed a couple of good counterattacking chances to take an early lead. But, having made eight changes, this young team did very well and were very committed and focused.

Question: Nevertheless, you were gesticulating wildly from the sidelines on a few occasions, so you clearly weren't altogether happy.

Löw: I was happy with the performance overall. It just frustrated me that we let some counterattacks and other chances slip by and couldn't score a second goal, because you can always fall prey to an equaliser from a set piece or a long-range shot. But I was happy with a lot of other things, so I’m totally satisfied.

Question: What's your verdict for 2013?

Löw: When I look back at this year, I’m very content. We accomplished a lot, winning nine of our qualifying matches. We were very strong in the games that mattered, so we've taken a step forward this year. There have been setbacks too, but so far we've been able to compensate for injuries to Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ilkay Gündogan or even Sami Khedira very well. However, it’s clear that we'll need those players back in top form next year, as well as a Miroslav Klose or Mario Gomez. Some players have had opportunities as a result of those injuries and are on the right track.

Question: Have the team made any progress?

Löw: Overall as a team, we improved when it came to working hard in defence, and in pressing, too. We're also good at things like keeping possession, quick play and getting forward in numbers. You could see in the England match that we lack cleverness and decisiveness in the final third, so we've got to work on that, but every part of the team has still got to work hard on the detail. We'll look more intensively and in more detail at those issues in our preparations.

Question: How do you feel going into a World Cup year?

Löw: We started the international year with victory over France and ended the year with two classic fixtures. We felt we should have won in Italy and did win in England, so that feels good. I learned more about some players too. I'm looking forward to next year. We'll wait for the World Cup draw now and then think about our preparations for the year to come and see what we still need to improve.

Question: How nervous are you about the World Cup group draw in Brazil on 6 December?

Löw: I’m going there with a lot of anticipation, with huge curiosity. That’s the moment when things get really serious. It’s nerve-racking when you walk in there. We’ve already talked through how the groups could pan out. It’s always good when you finally know who you’ll be playing and where. Things really take shape then, it all becomes a lot more real.

20 November 2013
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