Soccer Football - Germany - Joachim Loew Press Conference - German Football Museum, Dortmund, Germany - May 15, 2018 Germany coach Joachim Loew during the press conference (Reuters)
Germany's young team will need to be given time to improve and dispel a cloud hanging over the team after their recent performances, the coach and players said on Tuesday.
Team director Oliver Bierhoff on Monday had complained about a "dark cloud" over the team following their one win and four draws in their last five games, as viewing figures drop and criticism in the media grows louder.
The Germans, world champions in 2014, crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in the first round and were relegated in the Nations League that year before starting a team overhaul in March 2019.
They qualified for the postponed 2020 Euros but have been far from impressive since September, ending with draws against Switzerland, Turkey and Spain after leading in all three matches.
In Loew's defence the pool of players has never been the same due to injuries or quarantines or just resting players amid a busy playing schedule.
"We are realists enough to know when we have played well and when not," midfielder Ilkay Guendogan told an online news conference. "Everyone should face the criticism. If you have self-assessment then you know there is room for improvement."
The Germans face the Czech Republic in a friendly international on Wednesday before playing Nations League games against Ukraine and Spain on Nov. 14 and Nov. 17.
"I am a bit used (to the negative coverage). I have the feeling that many national teams are currently seen with a pessimistic view. Many fans are not eagerly looking forward to national team matches," Guendogan said.
"Maybe it has to do with corona. People are asking, why have these international matches now?"
Loew, who has been in charge since 2006, said his young team needed time to develop.
"There have been some up and down performances, but you could see if the full squad is there then the team has great prospects," Loew said.
"We hit the lowest point in 2018 after the World Cup and Nations League. In 2019 we took a step forward."
"These young players deserve to be given some time. My job is to give them time and trust. It will pay off."
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