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Monday, November 12, 2012
Schmelzer 'surprised' by Low criticism

Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Marcel Schmelzer has revealed that support from his Borussia Dortmund team-mates and fans helped him following Germany boss Joachim Low's criticism of him and bemoaning that only a lack of options made him persist with the left-back.

"We don't have a lot of options  thus we have to continue to work with him," Low had said about Schmelzer before Germany's World Cup qualifiers in October and added he "could not carve out players" for the position.

The coach later backtracked on his comments after they were widely condemned.

Speaking to Sueddeutsche Zeitung this weekend, Schmelzer said: "I was taken by complete surprise. Of course, you think about what you have done wrong. I then caught up with Mario Gotze to discuss it. And Mario said: 'You have done nothing wrong. What the coach did was wrong'." Schmelzer also cited his club achievements to defend his right to play for Germany, something he has done nine times at senior level since making his debut in 2010.

"I can give all I have, like I do in every match," he said. "With Dortmund I've twice won the league, once even including the cup. We have every chance to reach the knockout stages in Champions league. I am part of that team  it looks like I can compete on that high level. I can't do anything else as a player."

The Magdeburg-born Schmelzer also revealed he had been a Dortmund fan ever since he was a football fan and that he was in good talks with the club to prolong his 2014 contract. "You always hear from team mates that it is important the core of the team stays," he said. "I am currently in talks  I certain, it will be off the table soon."

Schmelzer was one of four players to pull out of the squad on Sunday for Germany's friendly with rivals Netherlands on Tuesday through injury. He was joined by Bayern trio Jerome Boateng (with a muscle tear), Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos (both with flu).

On Monday Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil and Lazio striker Miroslav Klose also withdrew.

On Sunday evening Low called up Dortmund's Sven Bender, Schalke's Leiws Holtby and  for the first time  Eintracht Frankfurt's right-back Sebastian Jung.

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