Frings: Defensive mistakes must be cut out

May 30, 2008

PALMA, May 30 (Euro 2008) - Germany midfielder Torsten Frings has admitted the team has to stamp out defensive mistakes if they are to live up to their tag as favourites for Euro 2008.

Joachim Low's side conceded twice in a 2-2 draw with minnows Belarus in their latest friendly.

And Frings knows the team made errors at the back which they simply cannot afford in Austria and Switzerland.

He told the Bild newspaper: 'Certainly with the goals we conceded not everything looked good. The defence has to stamp out mistakes.

'But every player on the pitch is responsible for defensive work. And, admittedly, it did not function like that.'

The Werder Bremen man insisted though defensive pairing Christoph Metzelder and Per Mertesacker were good enough to deal with the best strikers in the tournament.

He said: 'Metzelder and Mertesacker can stop the (Luca) Tonis and (Franck) Riberys of this world. They can stand up to these so-called superstars. So don't worry.'

Frings also claims underfire goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has the backing of the whole squad.

The 38-year-old, who has scarcely played all season after losing his place in the Arsenal team, was came in for criticism in the wake of the Belarus debacle and has admitted he is struggling to adjust to the new Euro 2008 ball.

But, asked if the team was behind Lehmann, Frings said: '1000% - Jens is so experienced. He knows exactly what is expected of him. Match practice at Arsenal is neither here nor there.'

The Werder Bremen man added: 'He is the perfect goalkeeper for this tournament.'