KAI HAVERTZ has appealed for unity in the Germany squad and admits failing to do his ‘bloody duty’ in their shock opening game defeat.
Shellshocked players held a clear-the-air meeting with coach Hansi Flick yesterday 24 hours after losing 2-1 to Japan.
GettyKai Havertz revealed the reaction within the Germany camp after the shock Japan defeat[/caption]
GettyThere were clear-the-air talks between Hansi Flick and his squad[/caption]
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan accused the German forwards of going missing as they chased the game.
Havertz said: “Ilkay complained that people went into hiding. He said our offensive players failed to score a second or third goal. It was very constructive criticism.
“We talked about the whole match so it took a bit longer to go through all the things we did badly and where we need to improve with Sunday in mind.
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“Now is the time to speak to each other and tell each other the truth, that is what makes the team stronger.
“We have analysed the game very well and seen our shortcomings and the areas we need to get better in.
“Now we have to approach as a true team and put foot on the accelerator in a crunch game
“We are in a bad moment but that can switch around quite fast.
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“It can be the turnaround for us. It is a big game. I am lucky I played a few big games at Chelsea.
“We are always in the spotlight, always in for a lot of criticism. Not everyone stands behind us. I don’t worry my head about it.
“We focus solely on the game against Spain on Sunday. It matters zero what happened in the past, it is water under the bridge.
“I like playing centre forward but when put in that position it is your bloody duty to score goals which I didn’t do against Japan.
“I recognise that. Put in the same position on Sunday I will do everything in my power to help the team.”
Julian Brandt was an unused sub in the Group G match but admits Germany are deep in the brown, smelly stuff and appeared to knock boss Hansi Flick’s enterprising tactics.
The Germans were 1-0 up only to crumble in the second half.
Borussia Dortmund winger Brandt said: “We are verbally in a s****y situation but we have a chance to turn it around in a big way.
“We are between a rock and a hard place. Maybe we should have sat deeper and played a counter-attacking game.
“When we can’t score we should sit deep and win in an unspectacular way.”
There will be no repeat of the Germany team’s covered mouths protest aimed at Fifa in the ongoing row over the OneLove armband campaign.
Next opponents Spain are on the crest of a wave following a 7-0 smashing of Costa Rica in their first game.
There could not be a greater contrast between confidence levels between the two international giants.
Havertz, 23, admitted: “We went into the dressing room with heads low and shoulders dropped. I can understand that. Of course we talked about what went wrong.
“Everyone needs to pull their weight and get back to a positive stride.
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“A 7-0 win is a clear signal and we have great respect for the Spain team.
“We know they have quality but will we hide? Not at all. We just need to put it on the pitch.”
GettyHavertz and Julian Brandt faced the media ahead of the must-win clash with Spain[/caption]
GettySpain head into Sunday’s clash full of confidence after their 7-0 thumping[/caption]