Low calls for focus ahead of Netherlands match

The 52-year-old is wary of a Dutch backlash and has called on his players to win their second match, while talking up the ‘legendary’ football rivalry between the two countries
Germany coach Joachim Low has urged his players to focus on their own game ahead of their upcoming Euro 2012 clash against Netherlands.

The 52-year-old is expecting an open game between the two sides as Netherlands look to bounce back from their 1-0 loss against Denmark against a Germany side chasing their second win.

"Everyone knows Holland is a team that is at the top level in the world and has been for many years with their quality and the way they play," Low told reporters.

"They have a difficult situation because they lost the first game, but it's not important to us. We need to look at what we can do, we need to win our second group game.

"I don't think Netherlands deserved to lose against Denmark because they had a lot of chances and it was very unlucky for them.

"They have world class players who, on their own or combined, can decide games. They can cause problems for any defence. I can't imagine that they will completely change their style or tactics because of the last result.

"Of course they might feel pressure during the game because they have to win the game. The match will be very open. In 2010 the Dutch were in the final, we were third. I think both teams are confident of winning the game."

Low is fully aware of the massive rivalry between the two sides, adding: "There is logically a big rivalry between Netherlands and Germany and games in tournaments are legendary. They were great games, these matches were the most interesting and the best of the last 20 to 30 years.

"From that point of view there's a huge rivalry, but I can't say anything about phrases like 'football is war'. It's nothing more than a big rivalry. The things that happened in the past are part of history now.

"A lot of Netherlands players play in Germany. The relationship between the players is good, there's a really good, healthy rivalry."

Despite beating Portugal 1-0 in their opening game thanks to a Mario Gomez header, Low refused to rule out the possibility of making some changes to his starting line-up.

"It doesn’t matter about changing a winning team because there are different situations when you have to look at things and analyse things," he added.

"We will see how training goes, have a chat and another think, then inform the players tonight [Tuesday].

"You have to take temperatures like this into consideration. Maybe you need a fresh player in the team or a sub after 60 or 70 minutes. I think we have good, adequate players for that.

"I was very satisfied with the team against Portugal. We know we could do a bit more up front. We weren’t absolutely clinical."

The game in Kharkiv kicks off at 20:45CET.