Germany coach Joachim Low has vowed to keep seasoned leaders Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels in his plans for the future following his side’s ignominious relegation from the top tier of the Nations League.
The 2014 World Cup winners, deposed as champions after a group-stage exit earlier this year, had further misery piled on them when they were consigned to bottom place in Group A1 by Netherlands’ victory over France on Friday.
Low had guided the nation back to winning ways the day before with a youthful side running out comfortable 3-0 winners in a friendly against Russia.
Regular starters Muller and Hummels were on the bench instead for the encounter and calls have been made for the pair to now assume lesser roles in the squad following their team’s annus horribilis.
Low however has resisted such notions and has stated that he is not about to discard his trusted lieutenants.
“Muller and Hummels bring energy, which the younger players benefit from,” he stated in his pre-match presser ahead of his side’s final Nations League game against Netherlands.
“It's a big deal if we start changing things around.
“It's a shame that there's nothing more we can do in the Nations League. Now, we've got to learn the right lessons from a disappointing year and take appropriate measures.”
Bayern Munich midfielder Muller, scoreless in the Bundesliga since September, will win his 100th cap if he features against Ronald Koeman’s Oranje.
The 29-year-old has been under pressure to hold his spot in the squad, but Low spoke glowingly of the 2010 World Cup Golden Boot winner's dedication during an eight-year international career.
“Thomas Muller deserves enormous respect,” he said.
“He's hardly ever injured and has always been with the national team, where other players might have said they are tired, need a break or were injured.
“He has busted his butt for the national team.”
Left-back Jonas Hector has been cleared to feature after hurting his ankle in the win over Russia, although Marco Reus is in doubt with a bruised foot.