Kai Havertz and Julian Brandt discuss Spain and opening day defeat

After a disastrous start losing 2-1 in their opening World Cup game against Japan on Wednesday, Germany face a must-win against Spain on Sunday. If Hansi Flick’s side fail to win the clash, they could be eliminated at the group stages just as they were in 2018. 

During Friday’s press conference, both Kai Havertz and Julian Brandt answered questions in the build-up to their country’s must-win fixture against a Spain side that brushed aside Costa Rica 7-0 in their Group E opener. 

Firstly, Havertz spoke about the disappointment and reaction after the loss to Japan.

“We’ve analysed the game in detail over the last two days. We saw where we went wrong and where we have to improve. Now it’s simply about going into the Spain game as one and giving it everything we’ve got. It will be a challenging game, but we will be ready.”

How is the mood inside the camp following the opening result? 

“I have been angry and not in a very good mood over the last couple of days. Now that I’ve digested the whole thing a little bit, I’m looking forward to it again. We have to look ahead and build up that good feeling as a team.”

Do you think you’ll be playing in a similar position in the game against Spain? 

“Everyone knows that I can play in different positions. In the last game I played as a striker. I can play a lot of different positions up front and work hard regardless of where I am playing. I like playing as a striker but also know that as a striker you have to score goals.”

It was then time for Julian Brandt to give us his thoughts on the Japan match. 

“We failed to take our chances and sometimes it is good to then flick a switch and to defend a bit deeper. Japan played a lot of long balls after that, like for the goal to make it 2-1. We have analysed the goals and spoke a lot about our shape off the ball.”

Two years ago Germany lost 6-0 against Spain, will this be on mind going into this game? 

“I don’t think that it plays any role. It was two years ago. We are in a different position now and have improved in a lot of areas – even if not everything is going smoothly. At the end of the day, it is a chance to change the mood. A game like this can energise you a lot.” 

Are there specific leaders in the team? 

“It is spread among everyone. We are all leading players at our clubs, are all experienced. It doesn’t help if only two or three of the boys lead the way. We all have to take responsibility.” 

Germany play Spain on Sunday evening where defeat could see their World Cup come to a crashing end if Japan also beat Costa Rica. After going home at the group stages in 2018, not many would have believed that history would repeat itself just four years later. However, this is where Hansi Flick and Die Mannschaft find themselves. They are up against it and it will be a question of ability and belief if they’re to qualify for the knockout stages. 

GGFN | Jamie Allen

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