Belfast (dpa) - Questions to coach Joachim Loew in the press conference after the 2: 0 of the German national football team on Monday evening in Belfast against hosts Northern Ireland.
What is your conclusion after the 90 passionate minutes here at Windsor Park?
Joachim Löw: It was a very intense, very difficult 90 minutes, because the Northern Irishmen played very courageously at least in the first half and were very offensive. We had to correct one or the other at halftime, because our room layout was not good. I said it stands 0: 0, stay calm, show coolness. Then it was better. We had some really good attacks after the 1: 0. But we had to overcome some difficulties in this game. In the end, there are three points in qualifying, which we have achieved. So we can be satisfied.
They have a very young team. Would you wish for a Marco Reus to lead the way? How did you see him?
Löw: We have some players with Marco, Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and also Jo Kimmich who have already been there for a few years. Sure, they have to take on leadership roles to show their body language and presence in the field to others, okay, I'm ready. Marco might not be as effective today. But Marco is an outstanding footballer. When he is fit, he is extremely important to the team.
What do you take from the week with the loss to the Netherlands and the victory here?
Löw: There have been different games. It has been seen in some phases that the team has not yet played together. Continuity and attitude are important for the future. As simple as some people think, it's not that easy. We did not have six or seven players compared to the match in Amsterdam in March. It helps to overcome resistance and win games where one's opponent makes life difficult. Importing is already a priority for a young team. We have to try something, but mostly we have to play. We have to sharpen the automatisms in all parts of the team. That will be the task of the next months.
How far is the way back to the top of the world? And will that be possible until the European Championships next summer?
Löw: The way to the top is no easy task. We still have a few months left and a few more internationals. Next year will show where we stand. I can not say that now either. Holland also needed three years with the current team. We have to get there. But we have also shown in France and Holland with the young team that we really have great quality. There is a lot to do with continuity. There is potential, the way is not easy. In a tournament, it depends on many factors. When we are complete, we already have a very good team.
They said in Hamburg that Serge Gnabry always plays. Do you feel confirmed now?
Löw: His odds are outstanding: Tenth game, ninth goal. But that's not the only reason Serge is so valuable. He makes the balls super tight in the front. He puts the other players in front super. He makes great walks. He is a target player that you can play in front, even in distress. He moves well and smart. And that's why he is currently in front.
You said after the Holland game that you have no quality problem. What about the mentality?
Löw: That's what I said, that we have to show a different mentality against strong Northern Ireland. The change of mentality in the duels, in the little things, in the details was better.
Was it just better, or the way you want to see it?
Löw: It was better.
Is Joshua Kimmich fix on the six? After all, do you also have an oversupply of midfield players with Kai Havertz?
Löw: Jo Kimmich plays on the six, he does that well. He provides the symmetry before the defense. In midfield we have a lot to offer. Trust in a player does not always have to do with the line-up. Kai Havertz has very good qualities. But other players, such as Serge Gnabry, needed us to be in the team. Ilkay Gündogan plays for Manchester City and has not played against Holland from the start. Of course you also need a strong bank. Kai Havertz will make his way. If he does not play from the beginning, I still have a lot of faith in him - and the confidence that he will make a very, very good career.