Julian Nagelsmann comments on Germany’s 0-0 draw with Ukraine

Germany head coach Julian Nagelsmann has commented on Germany’s first warm-up friendly for Euro 2024 which ended in a 0-0 draw with Ukraine.

On the performance as a whole, Nagelsmann said: “You prefer to win. But the most important indicator is that I want to see a team that wants to win. Today we wanted to win. We showed that. We showed a very good 20 minutes in both half-times. If we do the 1:0, the second or third goal will also be scored.” He then added: “We threw everything in after a long season. Against such a deep compact block of the opponent, you must first have 27 finishes. There were opportunities that go in with a bit of luck.”

One of the stand-out players from this friendly was Maximilian Beier. The Hoffenheim striker had several very good chances to score but was denied by Ukraine goalkeeper Anatolii Trubin. On Beier’s performance and if he has improved his chances of featuring at Euro 2024, Nagelsmann said: “He definitely made them more likely. The boys still have a week to earn the ticket. So far, there is no one who deserves to go home. We are waiting for the week. Maxi made a very good game. He was very hardworking, and also defensive. He also trains much better than in March.”

Nagelsmann also provided an insight into what Germany will look to improve on after the draw: “You can already train the use of opportunities. We need a better penalty area occupation. We have to get the flanks even more aggressively in the sixteenth.”

Finally, captain Ilkay Gundogan has struggled when starting for Germany in recent weeks next to Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz, on the criticisms towards the captain, Nagelsmann said: “Many people guess a lot of things. Ilkay played well. He has a lot of stress in the bones. We need him for the tournament. He can give us a lot of rhythm. He gives us peace and structure and is a dangerous player.”

Germany’s next friendly will be against Greece in Mönchengladbach on Friday. This will be their final warm-up. game ahead of the opening game of Euro 2024 against Scotland in Munich a week after their game against Greece. In that time period, Nagelsmann will need to cut one of the players from his 27-man squad. 

GGFN | Jack Meenan 

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