Euro 2024 host Germany must beat Japan and France in its upcoming international friendlies to win back fans and start creating some pre-tournament buzz for the host nation, its midfielder Kai Havertz said on Thursday.
The Germans have won just one of their last five matches since their shock World Cup group-stage exit in December, leaving coach Hansi Flick under scrutiny ahead of Saturday’s match against Japan and Tuesday’s game against 2022 World Cup finalist, France.
Another slip-up by the four-time world and three-time European champion, which has been eliminated in the first round of the last two World Cups, could see Flick leave just two years after taking over.
It has managed just three wins in their last 11 international matches.
“We now have had a long period which was very, very negative,” attacking midfielder Havertz told a press conference.
“Next year there is a Euro on home soil which is something you don’t get to experience often as a player. So we want to start creating some euphoria across the country by winning games.”
“We don’t see them as friendly matches against Japan and France. We take them very seriously. We will do everything to make the fans happy.”
It will be without attacking midfielder Jamal Musiala, who on Thursday was ruled out for the two matches with a back injury, and will not travel with the team.
Flick had already called up fellow attacking midfielder Thomas Mueller two days earlier following an injury to forward Niclas Fuellkrug.
With the Euros just nine months away, German fans are running out of patience, having seen their team eliminated early in the last three major tournaments, including the last European Championship in 2021 where they lost in the round of 16.
Fans booed and jeered Flick’s players in their most recent set of matches in June, with Germany, which as the host does not need to qualify for the Euros, losing to Colombia and Poland while drawing with Ukraine.
“We have been criticised a lot in the past months, sometimes not deservedly in my opinion,” said Havertz. “But that made us stronger so we will go to win the games and make the nation proud.”
“We have not enjoyed a lot of support since the World Cup. We have not felt 100% support. But we will try to get the fans back and that happens only through victories.”
- Ranji Trophy Live Score 2024 Quarterfinals Day 3 Updates: TN 338 all out, leads by 155; Yash Thakur removes Manish Pandey
- IND vs ENG: Shoaib Bashir becomes second youngest overseas bowler to pick five wickets in India
- India vs England Live Score Updates, 4th Test Day 3: IND 307 all out; England leads by 46 runs
- NBA roundup: Celtics tops Knicks for 8th straight win
- WPL 2024: Revamped Gujarat Giants faces uphill task against buoyant Mumbai Indians