Low apologises for Schmelzer criticism

The German coach has admitted he was too harsh on his left-back after implying the defender needed more time to improve before he would be good enough for the team
Joachim Low has taken back his comments on Germany's Marcel Schmelzer after he openly criticised the player and suggested he could be dropped if another team-mate looks ready to take his place.

The 52-year-old head coach made his initial comments after the left-back had not performed well in a recent match against Austria.

"Schmelzer did not have a good game [against Austria]. Many of the alternatives are not ready, we have to keep working with Schmelzer for the next two, three, four or five months,” Low said to reporters.

However, after the 6-1 win over the Republic of Ireland, Low has retracted those comments and says he has personally apologised to the Dortmund player.

He continued: "I've looked at everything I said again and have to admit I have come across very harsh. I have apologised to him [Schmelzer] for this."

The Germany boss also stressed the importance of having a strong bench coming into their game against Sweden on Tuesday and Low made it clear he would not underestimate his next opponents.

He added: "There's always a time where you have an Iniesta on the bench, a Torres or a Villa. You need a strong bench,
it also has to be noted that Sweden are a team with a lot of organisation and are very, very strong."