Germany still needs some work ahead of France opener, says coach Loew

The Germans, starting their tournament against world champion France on June 15, will play the last warm-up match against Latvia on Monday.

Loew has been in charge since 2006 and will be succeeded by his former assistant and former Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick after the tournament.   -  REUTERS

Germany still needs to work on parts of its game before the start of the European Championship, coach Joachim Loew said on Sunday at the end of the nine-day training camp in Austria.

The Germans, starting their tournament against world champion France on June 15, will play the last warm-up match against Latvia on Monday. The Euros open on Friday.

"I cannot fully draw conclusions from our camp just yet because our preparation continues and after the game tomorrow we have a week in Duesseldorf to prepare for France," Loew, going into his final tournament as Germany coach, told a news conference.

Loew has been in charge since 2006 and will be succeeded by his former assistant and former Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick after the tournament.

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Germany will play European champion Portugal as well as Hungary in Group F and will be desperate to deliver a better performance than its 2018 World Cup first-round exit and its two disappointing Nations League campaigns since then.

The Germans also suffered a 6-0 loss to Spain in November, its heaviest ever defeat in a competitive game.

"We have certainly taken a step forward but we still have to improve," Loew said. "We have done the basic work but on some issues, for the next week we will continue to work to become more stable and stronger."

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The coach said he would not use the Latvia game as a dress rehearsal for France, with several players having had a shorter preparation time due to their participation in the Champions League final.

"I plan to make some substitutions because the players from the English teams (from the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea) should not be stretched too hard."

Timo Werner, Kai Havretz, Antonio Ruediger and Ilkay Gundogan joined only days ago.

"We have to fine-tune things but we don't want to risk injuries with these players. They had a few days of rest and a lot of matches under their belt this season," Loew said.

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