Lahm aiming to look forward
Germany skipper backing his team to progress
By Mike Barton. Last Updated: June 19, 2010 4:27pm
Lahm: Backing his team to qualify
Philipp Lahm has backed his Germany team to bounce back from their defeat to Serbia by winning their final Group D match against Ghana.
The three-time champions were surprisingly beaten 1-0 by the Serbians despite looking in good stead to go all the way after an impressive 4-0 victory over Australia in their opening game.
Striker Miroslav Klose was sent off for a second bookable offence on the half hour mark, just moments before Milan Jovanovic scored the winner to leave qualification for the last 16 wide open.
It was the first defeat the Germans had suffered in the group stage since they were beaten by Denmark in the 1986 finals in Mexico, however skipper Lahm said his side must move on from the loss and focus on qualifying for the next round.
"I think we as players have to look forward, not back, we need to resume where we finished off in the second-half," said Lahm.
"Our passes must be better and the reason I am not worried is because the team has shown in the past they can bounce back from this.
"Despite the defeat, we played imaginatively against Serbia and we can raise our game against Ghana."
Confidence is high
The Bayern Munich full-back admitted that he was disappointed to see his side lose what was a fine record in the early stages of the tournament, but urged supporters to not lose faith in the young side and get behind the team.
"I think what fans have seen is there is a team on the pitch who are intact, confidence is still high and there are no recriminations going on," Lahm added.
"I feel the fans are still behind us and, with their support, we will reach the last 16.
"There is an obvious disappointment for us as we wanted to book our place in the last 16 which didn't happen, plus there was the red card and the missed penalty.
"There was fury and indignation in the dressing room, but we have to accept it."
The 26-year-old also confessed he expected a media backlash against his side, but that any team they play against will pose a significant challenge.
"There are no push overs at this level," he said.
"Serbia are not in the top three or five teams in the world, but weak teams are a thing of the past.
"We said before the World Cup that there are no easy games, Ghana are fast, but I am sure we will get plenty of chances against them.
"Look at Spain, they played with flair, skill and style, but still lost their opening game (to Switzerland).
"We were jazzed up after match one, so it is only normal the press would come down on us like a tonne of bricks.
"But I don't think we played badly, we will resume where we left off against Australia with quick passing, high-tempo football and take our chances."