Ex-striker turned coach Klose says Germany have talent on bench

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Sochi, June 21 (IANS) Germany assistant coach Miroslav Klose on Thursday acknowledged that they may have to alter tactics in order to overcome Sweden in their FIFA World Cup Group F second match but was optimistic the defending champions have strength on the bench.

It was a sentiment reiterated by much of the German team and staff in the wake of their surprise 0-1 loss to Mexico in the opening Group F, a result that complicates what many believe would be an easy ascent into the last 16, reported Efe.

“We have many players yet to play, who are hungry for it, anxious to get out there,” said Klose, who was now assigned to coaching the strikers who succeeded him in the first XI since he retired after winning the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

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The former Lazio forward, who is the highest goal-scorer in World Cup history, said Germany had given itself little room for error navigating Sweden on Saturday and then South Korea to ensure a place in the knockouts.

He lamented the flood of critics against Germany’s performance against a brilliant counter-attacking Mexico and pointed to the fact that several other big teams and potential contenders for the cup had also been slow out the blocks. Argentina, Brazil and Spain were held to draws in their opening games.

Meanwhile, German midfielder Sami Khedira said they would have to substantially improve on recent form against Sweden.

“We’ll have to play more intelligent soccer going forward,” Khedira, a former Real Madrid man who now plays for Juventus in the Serie A, told journalists.

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“We have to attack but not expose our defense,” he added, highlighting that Sweden will be a threat considering a win would see them ascend into the knockout stages.

–IANS

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