Lahm ready for Austria showdown
Full-back will be fit for crucial contest
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: June 14, 2008 3:52pm
Lahm: Taking nothing for granted
Philipp Lahm insists that a calf injury will not prevent him from featuring for Germany against Austria.
With a place in the quarter-finals at stake for both sides the encounter in Vienna has taken on added importance.
A derby clash between two countries was always likely to be a feisty affair without the added incentive of a place in the last eight of a major international championship on the line.
Germany's shock 2-1 defeat to Croatia on Thursday has ensured that the pre-tournament favourites will be sweating on their progress come Monday night, while Austria have upset the odds by putting themselves in contention.
The game has taken on the characteristics of a knockout contest, a fact which is not lost on Bayern Munich full-back Lahm.
"The calf injury won't be a problem by Monday and we will treat the game like a final," he said.
"We have seen what Austria can do, we know they will give their all.
"They will run like mad and we have to ask what type of response and resistance can we offer.
"It is all about control and composure."
Defeat against the co-hosts would see Germany make a premature exit for the third European Championship in a row, a situation which Lahm is desperate to avoid.
"We really want to get to the quarter-finals, whatever happens after that we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
"There is always room for improvement and this is our chance to correct our mistakes.
"Croatia had eight or nine players behind the ball, forcing us into a long-ball game.
"We should not have conceded the two goals against them, we managed to avoid making those mistakes against Poland (in their opening game), so we must not fall into that trap again."
Lahm also confessed that a number of the German players thought they were destined to reach the quarter-finals ahead of the Croatia clash and let their performance dip as a result.
"Some of us thought we were in the quarter-finals already and thought it would be okay to sit back and not run the extra mile and be a bit lazy, but we had our comeuppance," said the defender.