Loew confident players are focused
Germany coach Joachim Loew does not believe his Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund players will be distracted by their upcoming Bundesliga clash during the international break.
Germany are playing prestigious friendlies away to Italy and England over the coming days but, for many in the country, attentions are already on the meeting between Dortmund and Bayern at the Westfalenstadion on Nov. 23.
Half of the 22 players in the Germany squad belong to the two clubs, but Loew does not believe thoughts about the Bundesliga title race are proving a distraction.
“I have not observed that the players have been talking about that match,” he told a news conference on Wednesday. “I think that it is a bit far off as far as the players are concerned, too.
“With Italy and England, they have two tasks ahead of them. Despite the fact they are not qualification games, there is some tension in the air. To play in Milan or at Wembley is always something special for every player.
“I don’t think the players have their minds on the match between Dortmund and Bayern. The officials of the two clubs might have...”
Beyond the trips to Italy and England, Germany have only a friendly against Chile in March prior to the selection of the squad for the World Cup finals. With that in mind, Loew has warned the players that they cannot afford to be distracted.
“The players will give their all in these games, and that’s what I expect of them,” he said. “And when I say we only have three more games until the squad selection -- and I have said that to my players -- that also means that everyone has to prove himself in every training session, in every hour he is with the team.
“You have to earn a World Cup as a player.”
Loew also said he will not allow clubs to hold any sway over his team selections for the upcoming games.
“The players are in good rhythm currently and there is enough time between Tuesday and Saturday,” he said.
“If it’s at all possible, I have always tried to be considerate of clubs and most of all of players in some situations. But nobody should tell me what to do on Friday or Tuesday and tell me to rest those players.”