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Manuel Neuer: Ger­many’s defeat to Mex­i­co was a “wake-up” call ahead of meet­ing Swe­den

Ger­many cap­tain Manuel Neuer said Tues­day that the reign­ing cham­pi­ons know how to deal with the sit­u­a­tion they have put them­selves in after their open­ing 1–0 World Cup loss to Mex­i­co, and that every match from here will be like a final.

From this point on, we only have finals,” goal­keep­er Neuer told a news con­fer­ence at Ger­many’s base in Vatutin­ki, Rus­sia. “Now some­thing has to come from us play­ers. We must show what made us so strong in the past.”

There are enough lead­ers on the team, Neuer said, to imple­ment the nec­es­sary changes for Ger­many’s sec­ond Group F match against Swe­den in Sochi on Sat­ur­day.

We are con­vinced that we can do it. We will show that in the next match against Swe­den,” said Neuer, who showed up 50 min­utes late to the press con­fer­ence after talks with­in the team took longer than expect­ed.

We are our own strongest crit­ics and we are mad at our­selves and also dis­ap­point­ed with what we showed on the pitch against Mex­i­co,” Neuer added.

The 32-year-old cap­tain said there was no lack of dis­cus­sion about the Mex­i­co loss since the dis­ap­point­ment in Moscow on Sun­day, adding: “We talked about it direct­ly after the game on the bus and at every meal.”

The Bay­ern Munich keep­er said the team must once again find that strong men­tal­i­ty that made them world cham­pi­ons in Brazil four years ago.

We need that courage and self-con­fi­dence. It was miss­ing (against Mex­i­co). I can­not answer why it was miss­ing but you could see it in our body lan­guage. We need to come back togeth­er again, and this can­not hap­pen again,” he said.

Neuer also answered ques­tions over whether there was any divi­sion with­in the team between the 2014 world cham­pi­ons and some of the younger, less expe­ri­enced play­ers who won the 2017 Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup.

There are not two sep­a­rate camps. We talk to one anoth­er, we give our expe­ri­ence to the young play­ers and we know that the young play­ers from the Con­fed Cup are part of the team and very impor­tant,” he said.

There could be com­par­isons made, Neuer agreed, between the Mex­i­co match and Ger­many’s 2–1 vic­to­ry over Alge­ria in extra time in the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

It was a wake-up call, just like the first half against Mex­i­co. But our com­mu­ni­ca­tion with­in the team has nev­er been stronger than after the Mex­i­co match as every play­er spoke their mind,” Neuer said.

We don’t real­ly need a sec­ond wake-up call.”

The Ger­man team will be leav­ing Vatutin­ki lat­er Tues­day to fly to Sochi to start prepa­ra­tions for the sec­ond game. One of the rea­sons for the ear­ly depar­ture is to get used to the dif­fer­ent con­di­tions as tem­per­a­tures along the Black Sea have risen to 30 degrees Cel­sius, 6 degrees warmer than in Vatutin­ki near Moscow.

I am look­ing for­ward to the change of scenery. It’s a sign that some­thing dif­fer­ent will be hap­pen­ing. Many of us want­ed to play against Swe­den right away the next day,” Neuer said.

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