UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Löw on criticism, Northern Ireland and Italy omens

Germany coach Joachim Löw has given the players Saturday off to relax but there was no let-up for himself as he appeared for a press briefing. This is what he had to say ...

Löw on criticism, Northern Ireland and Italy omens
Löw on criticism, Northern Ireland and Italy omens ©Getty Images

Germany's perceived weakness in attack
Last week everyone wanted to talk about the defence, now it is the attack! I don't think we have a problem there just because we had this goalless draw. It is not about whether we played a false nine or a poacher against Poland, we simply didn't get enough bodies into the box to put them under pressure. It has been quite a while since our team failed to create good chances.

Accusations of a lack of leadership
This really makes me laugh. We had the same discussion before the World Cup. Then we won it. Suddenly the likes of Schweinsteiger, Neuer, Hummels were real leaders. Now we have one goalless draw and that discussion is opened up again. We have players who absolutely fulfil our requirements for leadership: they ask and discuss a lot internally.

The challenge of facing Northern Ireland
They are one of the positive surprises of this tournament. They were a bit cautious in the first game against Poland, but in the second match they showed their energy and intensity, and deservedly beat Ukraine. They are dangerous. They have players who run a lot and are very dangerous at set pieces. They are as good as anyone in defence.

Possible changes to the line-up
Before the tournament I stressed that this could be a competition where we play different teams with different types of players depending on the game, especially in the group stage. Playing in lots of crosses to a tall forward would play right into Northern Ireland's hands. So we will keep our passing game; it's our way of playing. I expect more pace in the final third. Playing a back three is not on the table.

On a potential quarter-final with bogey team Italy
In 2006, they started awfully and won the World Cup. Now they have made a bright start ... that gives me hope.