Loew wants Germany to impress against Austria

Loew wants Germany to impress against Austria

Published Sep. 1, 2011 2:16 p.m. ET

Germany coach Joachim Loew is happy the transfer period is over so his players can concentrate on Friday's European Championship qualifier against Austria.

Loew told a press conference on Thursday he could see the players were already more focused on the game in Gelsenkirchen and ''in a position to put Austria under pressure, as we did against Brazil. Above all, we want our football to impress.''

Loew said he was ''very optimistic that we'll definitely qualify.''

Germany will become the first team to qualify for next summer's tournament in Poland and Ukraine if it secures an eighth straight victory in Group A. Even a loss will do if Turkey fails to beat Kazakhstan at home.


Austria, which hasn't qualified for a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, is hoping for a first win in Germany since 1931.

''Austria will be highly motivated,'' Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger warned.

''They communicate well and know how to stay compact,'' Schweinsteiger said. ''It's not a very attacking lineup but they can move the ball forward at pace. (Martin) Harnik is a very fast player, (Marko) Arnautovic too.''

Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes will start at right back for Germany, while Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos will earn his 20th cap in midfield, alongside club teammate Schweinsteiger and Real Madrid's Mesut Oezil.

Loew is resisting the temptation to start Oezil and the exciting Mario Goetze together, saying Borussia Dortmund's 19-year-old will have plenty of games ahead.

''Goetze was fantastic against Brazil, but Kroos impressed me in the last games with his enthusiasm,'' Loew explained. ''For me, Goetze is someone who plays in the middle and not out on the side.''

The coach said he was sure Oezil and Goetze would be ''excellent together'' but asked for patience with the Dortmund youngster.

He welcomed defender Per Mertesacker's transfer to Premier League side Arsenal on the final day of the transfer market, calling it ''a very good step'' and ''great for his development.''

Mertesacker said he was ''only concentrating on the Austria game.''

After starting with seven Bayern Munich players in the lineup for the 3-2 friendly win over Brazil last month, Loew denied that it was important to have a base of players familiar with each other from their club side.

''I don't need it particularly. In 2004, 2005, maybe it would have been desirable, but in the last couple of years the players that have been coming through know the philosophy, they know what I want from them as players,'' Loew said.

''The quality of the players counts much more than the (club) base. Now you have the likes of Oezil at Real Madrid. The quality is decisive. I don't need a base, I need quality.''