Monday, November 29, 1999

Germany`s young guns can cope with pressure - Loew

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Germany's young players are unlikely to crumble under pressure after being thrust into the World Cup spotlight with their opening 4-0 routing of Australia, coach Joachim Loew said on Thursday.The German team, which faces Serbia in Group D on Friday, is the country's youngest in 76 years, but Loew said his players had cool heads and would not get carried away with their scintillating early form."I have to put things into perspective and I think players can do that, I think they can handle this pressure well," Loew said just minutes after landing in Port Elizabeth."There's no guarantee for success, we have to be very careful, we only just started this tournament."I think we know how to come to terms with this situation, even the young players. We know there was a lot of applause for our performance but we tried to fend it off a bit and keep a distance from our performance and the response," he said.With inspirational captain Michael Ballack missing through injury and poor performances by several players at club level last season, the German side was widely written off in the run-up to the competition, despite their impressive World Cup record.The backbone of Germany's squad is from the European under-21 championship winning team in 2009.Loew said there was plenty of room for improvement in the game with Australia, especially in defence, and they would not be complacent against a Serbian team that needs a win to stand any realistic chance of advancing.He admitted some players might struggle in more intense games but said his side had the drive and the ability to go far in the competition."We don't know how the players will perform in extreme pressure situations, but what we do have is great potential but what I can promise is we are fully motivated and we face up to the challenge," Loew added."There will be more difficult games than Australia. Tomorrow will be a strong fight, a cutthroat competition, but we are hungry." (Editing by Michael Holden)
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