World Cup qualifying: Joachim Low demands total focus from Germany
Joachim Low has demanded total focus from his Germany side for their World Cup qualifying return match with Kazakhstan.
Last Updated: 25/03/13 4:37pm
Germany coach Joachim Low has demanded total focus from his side for their World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan in Nuremberg after seeing what can happen if they don't take things seriously enough last Friday.
Although Germany won 3-0 in Kazakhstan to establish a five-point advantage at the top of qualifying group C, his side were not so dominant with the score at 2-0.
The hosts hit the crossbar and went close to making it 2-1 before Thomas Muller's goal settled Germany's nerves.
Low does not want to see a similar situation develop at the Frankenstadion on Tuesday night, and has reminded his team of their duties.
"We took the tempo out of the game a little in the second half in Kazakhstan and then made mistakes and got a few problems," said Low.
"Kazakhstan created a few chances then and we will be reminding the players again that we can only be so dominant if we keep the tempo high and do everything 100 per cent.
"I expect us to go into the game with the same vehemence as we did the first half in Kazakhstan, and if we can get an early goal, we can get another one quickly."
While Germany were flying back from their longest trip in qualifying, the Republic of Ireland were doing them a favour by holding Sweden to a draw.
"The 0-0 between Sweden and Ireland has changed things a little," said Low.
"If we get three points now, then I can see us being in a very good position, not that we are afraid of anybody.
"Ireland play Austria and I think the winner of that game has a serious chance (of finishing second)."
With Bastian Schweinsteiger suspended, Ilkay Gundogan will get the chance to join Sami Khedira in the holding role in front of the defence.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder impressed in a friendly victory over France last month and Low has tipped him to go far.
"He has made a huge leap forwards, not only with Dortmund but also with us," he said.
"He has gained a lot of respect and is playing at the highest level. He has everything it takes to be a world class player."
Up front, Mario Gomez will face a late fitness test and if he fails, Low will once again play without a recognised striker, but with a system which allows one of the three attacking midfielders to push up.
"A striker has got to be quick-thinking, good at winning possession and have a good finish," he said.
"We have strikers like Gomez or (Miroslav) Klose who fulfil that, but we also have other types of player like (Marco) Reus and (Mario) Gotze who can play up front too.
"You always need one player who plays up front."
That could also be a role for Patrick Herrmann, who is in line for his first senior cap after being called up from the under-21s.
He and Sven Bender have both been added to the squad since Friday while Julian Draxler has been withdrawn due to concussion.
Kazakhstan have picked up just one point from their opening five games, scoring one goal.