Germany coach Joachim Loew says he will continue his project of building a winning team despite a disappointing finish to Euro 2012.
Pre-tournament favourites Germany were surprise losers in the semi-finals of the European Championships, going down 2-1 to Italy in the semi-finals.
After also bowing out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup at the same stage, Loew is determined to banish those memories with success on the biggest stage.
“We wanted to go to the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa and begin forming a team that could then win this title (Euro 2012), so the loss in the semi-final against Italy was particularly painful,” he said ahead of Germany’s international friendly against Argentina on Wednesday.
“We now have the task of working on the errors we made at Euro 2012, and find solutions to those errors over the next two years. We went on this path a few years ago, and we have a long-term plan to which we will stick.
“Before the Italy game we had won 15 (competitive) games in a row – a world record. We will stay on this path, with a few minor changes.
“You have to try and draw lessons from criticism with humility. Some criticism, though, was not productive, I think.
“Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and some others have done what I expected of them, and been perfect.
“But to the public watching on television, they weren’t winners on the pitch. We are all proud of this team for everything they have done, and are doing, for integration in Germany.”
There were rumours Loew might quit his role after the criticism he received over the semi-final loss, but he claimed to be fully committed to the next qualification campaign.
“My coaching staff and I are going forward full of motivation, and we are eagerly anticipating the challenges ahead. The overall goal is, of course, qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.”
When asked how he felt about Germany’s impending friendly against Argentina on August 15, he said: “We’re very excited. I will make many changes for the match.”