German duo ready for England
Monday, 22 June, 2009
German Coach and star player are both confident of victory tonight.
England and Germany may both be in strong positions to qualify for the European Under 21 Championship semi-finals ahead of their Monday night clash, but don't expect a tame affair when these two footballing foes meet in Halmstad.
The young German side enter the match knowing that a point will see them safely through to the last four, while even a narrow defeat could see them progressing, providing Spain doesn't achieve a four-goal swing in victory against Group B strugglers Finland.
Yet despite the stats firmly in the favour of the Germans, they'll enter the game leaving nothing to chance as they aim for all three points. "The team knows what it's all about now," said coach Horst Hrubesch.
"We take every situation step-by-step. The team has improved in training over the past few days, we're working well together and I'm absolutely convinced we're going to win," he continued.
While seven of his team carry bookings into the game that could see them ruled out of a potential semi-final, Hrubesch will not let this influence his side's mentality. "This changes nothing; it's not my first thought to avoid yellow cards or suspensions," he explained.
"Everyone has to be at their best, and I'm only interested in the victory. Nothing else counts."
The coach's confidence is echoed by his star midfielder Mesut Ozil who insists despite England's impressive start, the Germans have nothing to fear from Stuart Pearce's Young Lions.
"We know what we are capable of and we have nothing to fear against England," stressed Ozil.
"They were the best team in both their games, even with 10 men against Finland. It is certainly going to be hard against them because they are very compact. Furthermore they have plenty of good individual players.
"We will give it all we have got and we want to win the group," added Ozil, echoing the positive views of his coach.
The last time the two teams met was in October 2006 when two late goals from Theo Walcott gave England a 2-0 victory in the German leg of their qualifying play-off victory en route to the 2007 Championship.