Germany captain Manuel Neuer says it was important for his side to “set an example again” after winning each of their first three games under new head coach Hansi Flick.
Die Mannschaft eased to a 4-0 win over Iceland in Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier to open up a four-point lead at the top of Group J with four matches to play.
That routine victory in Reykjavik followed on from wins over Liechtenstein and Armenia over the past week, with Flick’s side scoring 12 goals and conceding none across that spell.
Flick is only the second Germany boss to win his first three games without conceding after Joachim Low, the man he succeeded following his nation’s Euro 2020 last-16 exit to England.
On the back of a morale-boosting week for Germany, Neuer believes a marker has now been laid down.
“It’s important that we set an example again,” he told RTL. “We were dominant and defended well, so of course we are extremely satisfied.
“After these three games we now want to work on our game and set a trend. You have seen across these matches that there is an upward trend. We want to continue like this.
“The teams we have played do not compete in knockout games at major tournament, but you have to set yourself goals as a team and as a professional.
“Of course we have a long way to go, but we have started to send out a positive message.”
Serge Gnabry’s tap-in and Antonio Rudiger’s header had Germany two goals ahead inside 24 minutes and Leroy Sane killed off the contest early in the second half.
Timo Werner added a late fourth to make amends for a horror miss earlier in the game as Germany moved a giant step closer to sealing automatic qualification for Qatar 2022.
While happy with what he has seen during his first international window at the helm, former Bayern Munich coach Flick insists there is still more to come from his side.
“Nine points from these games was our goal and we succeeded,” he told RTL. “The way we have played is a step forward, though not everything is at one hundred per cent.
“Still, you can’t expect that. I am satisfied with what I have seen, but there are a few things we will try to do even better next time.”
Rudiger’s goal – a powerful header after being picked out by a Joshua Kimmich delivery – was his second for Germany on his 47th appearance.
Not only did Rudiger get on the scoresheet, he also gained possession a joint-high 10 times for his side, level with left-back Thilo Kehrer.
Reflecting on this week’s triple-header, Rudiger said: “It was important we got nine points and improved our goal difference.
“Keeping out the opposition each time gives us confidence. But there should have been more goals today. Overall it has been a good week and a half for us.”
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