Löw: “We are now ready to take the next step”

For the fourth consecutive time, Germany are in the World Cup semifinals. Now they have to overcome their own roadblock and make it to the final.

For coach Jogi Löw the France game and performance was a turning point that showed the team’s resilience, ability to get results and was and a platform to take the next step.

On playing Philipp Lahm at right-back:

“In our analysis of France we saw that there would be very little space in the center of the pitch. That’s why we decided to play him on the right. We wanted to use our fullback positions more so there was a tactical reason behind it. And I wanted to infuse a new impetus for this game. And the fact that he carried out his role well is not surprising to anyone.”

Is Lahm going to play there in the semifinal?

“That I don’t know yet. For me it’s important to see how the players react and recover. Some players were pushed to the absolute limit and now that means they must regain their strength. We need to rest and regenerate then we can see.”

The performance against France:

“Both teams played well defensively. We allowed very little changes against a strong offense but we ourselves didn’t have many chances by the end. But we were always on top of our opponents, motivated and worked well in midfield.”

On the decision to bench Per Mertesacker:

“It was a tactical decision to use Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels because Benzema, Valbuena or Griezmann play very well between the lines and are quick. I told him the night before the game and he reacted superbly. He’s very important for the team.”

Did the temperatures play a role?

“For us it wasn’t easy. The air was thick to the point that you couldn’t even breathe. We’re not used to that as Europeans and thus it makes it difficult to keep control and concetrate throughout the game. Then you also make mistakes because the players get fatigued.”

Expectations for the semifinal:

“We’ll see how things progress. But we won 28 of 31 competitive games. That’s an impressive accomplishment. We will now try to take the next step. The team is established, stable and can survive games like Algeria.”

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