Low won't criticise players

Germany coach Joachim Low refused to criticise his players for again easing off in the second half of their World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan.

Last Updated: 26/03/13 at 22:50 Post Comment

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A 4-1 win took Germany a step closer to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, but after leading 3-0 at the interval they risked throwing the match away as their low-ranked opponents pulled a goal back, hit a post and had a shot cleared off the line.

However, unlike after the 3-0 win in Kazakhstan on Friday night when Low criticised his team's attitude, he forgave them for taking their foot off the peddle in Nuremberg.

"They have important Bundesliga games at the weekend and Champions League matches next week so possibly they were thinking about that," he said.

"But we still created a lot of chances against very deep-lying opponents who didn't even want to play football."

Low, though, criticised some fans inside the Frankenstadion for their jeers in the second half, particularly those aimed at goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after his mistake allowed Kazakhstan to pull a goal back.

"What I don't like is the treatment of our number one goalkeeper," he said to ARD television. "I don't think it's fair to ridicule a goalkeeper who has achieved so much for us, I think that is very unsporting."

Neuer explained the rush of blood to the head which saw him caught in possession on the edge of his own penalty area, allowing Heinrich Schmidtgal to give Kazakhstan a glimmer of hope early in the second half.

"All I can do is apologise," he said. "I wanted to try to play the ball out and not just blast it into touch. In the end, I should have just hoofed it out."

The goal was the only blot on an otherwise positive night for Germany, who opened up an eight-point lead at the top of Group C above Sweden, Austria and the Republic of Ireland, all of whom have games in hand.

"The important thing was to get the three points," said Ilkay Gundogan, who scored his first international goal. "Of course it was a bit unfortunate to concede, but you could see we're playing well and I think we can live with this."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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