Interim national coach Horst Hrubesch is of little interest in Iceland’s beautiful landscape. What counts is only a victory for the German footballers.
Horst Hrubesch doesn’t want to know anything about the supposedly difficult external conditions before the German soccer players’ Nations League game against Iceland (8 p.m./zdf.de).
“We have bright blue sunshine, 5 degrees, 6 degrees plus, the pitch is covered,” said the interim national coach at the press conference on Monday. He also expects “good grass” and “no wind, as it looks” on match day.
“Faith” and “Belief”
When asked whether the team was able to see and enjoy something from Iceland, Hrubesch reacted harshly: They don’t go on vacation, said the 72-year-old and demanded full focus on sports: “We don’t need to do the circus act here.”
In the manageable Laugardalsvöllur stadium in cold Reykjavík, the DFB team meets an Icelandic team that plays much stronger at home than away. Most recently, the Icelanders led by captain Glódís Viggósdóttir from FC Bayern only lost 0-1 against group leaders Denmark. The DFB team dispatched Iceland 4-0 in the first leg in Bochum.
“It will be important that we take things into our own hands right from the start and clearly play to win,” said Hrubesch, who demanded “faith” and “conviction” from his team. “We want to win the game and we want to win the next two games after that, Denmark and Wales.”
Hrubesch really wants to reach Paris
Only if they win will the DFB team still have qualification for the 2024 Olympics in Paris in their own hands. The vice-European champions are currently second in the group behind Denmark, only winning the group in the Nations League will keep their chance of taking part in the summer games. Hrubesch really wants to reach Paris: “That was the point, right from the start, why I did it in the first place.”
Hrubesch took over the national coaching job three weeks ago from assistant coach Britta Carlson, who did not want to continue to be in the front row after the Nations League games in Denmark (0:2) and against Iceland (4:0).
National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who has been sidelined due to illness, is unlikely to return to the DFB sidelines. The 55-year-old gave public lectures during her vacation instead of furthering the analysis of the World Cup debacle. This caused irritation among the players.
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