Germany won't look past the Danes


Soccer:Germany are not considering all the permutations ahead of their final Euro 2012 group game against Denmark on Sunday as they aim only to get the result they need to reach the quarter-finals.

Joachim Low’s side are the only to have won both of their opening group fixtures so far, but not even that assures them a place in the last eight. They need just a point from their final group game to secure their passage, while a defeat would complicate matters in Group B.

Should they lose only a Holland win could send them out and even then goal difference would come into the equation. Germany’s assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick said he and the coaching staff are aware of the different scenarios, but that they are not wasting any time considering them.

“Of course we need to know about it, but we are not thinking about that yet because everything is in our own hands. We have six points against two very strong opponents and no other team have two wins so far.

“We have got an optimal return and we now need a good performance over 90 minutes against Denmark and then we will have taken the step that we all wanted. We have six points, no more and no less, and it is important we beat Denmark to win the group so that we can play the next game in Gdansk.”

Those six points do not mean that Germany should now be regarded as the ultimate title favourites either, according to Flick. In truth, had it not been for Mario Gomez’s outstanding eye for goal, Germany could now be on the brink of elimination from Euro 2012 and nobody, not even within the Germany camp, is getting carried away.

“Everybody is talking about a Germany-Spain final, but there is a long way to go to get there,” admitted Gomez. “We have not achieved anything yet. We are in a good position with these wins,
but there is a long way to go and you cannot draw conclusions after only two games.”

Flick added: “We were one of the favourites before the tournament and I don’t think anything has changed. “We saw the Spanish yesterday, admittedly against a very inferior opponent, play their great short-passing game and it is impressive the way they work.

“There are also France or Italy, to name just two, who are in the group of favourites. It is going to be interesting to the very end.”

Should Germany make it to the final, Lukas Podolski could reach a landmark by drawing level with two-times World Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer on the list of all-time appearances for his country with 103.

That all depends on him being involved in the four games to get that far, but the future Arsenal striker has no doubts about reaching at least one milestone over the next few weeks, although he would prefer several.

“The aim is 103, that is my aim,” he said. “I don’t know if I will make it to 100 on Sunday, but it will happen in this tournament — I am very optimistic. One hundred is a dream and it makes me proud, but my aim is not just to chase statistics. We are definitely one of the favourites and we have huge potential.

“We have caught up with the best in the world in recent years and all we are lacking now is a title to show and prove that we can win them.”