Midfielder Torsten Frings insists Germany will beat Austria on Monday to make the Euro 2008 quarter-finals and ensure there is no repeat of previous early exits from the last two European Championships.
Germany will face neighbours Austria in Vienna in their final Group B game needing a win to safe-guard their place in the quarter-finals after a shock defeat to Croatia last Thursday.
Having won their third European title at Euro 1996, Germany then came home early from the Netherlands-Belgium tournament in 2000 and were also eliminated without a win after the group stage in Portugal in 2004.
But Frings says the Germany side of Euro 2008 are much better than four years ago and will beat Austria to set up a possible quarter-final against Portugal in Basel next Thursday.
“You can't compare the situation with 2004, because the current team is much better than it was then,” said Frings.
“In 2004, our elimination was logical, because our levels were not good enough to play in such a tournament.
“It is different here, we have a better team, we have shown it in the past and we will prove it again on Monday.
“I even believe that to be under a bit of pressure will be useful for us for the remainder of the tournament.
“I live with the principal we will eliminate the host country and will go on to win other matches here.”
Frings admits tension is high in the Germany camp, but insists they will use the shock defeat by Croatia to bounce back having been humbled 2-1 by Slaven Bilic's side in Klagenfurt, Austria, last Thursday.
After making just a handful of appearances for Werder Bremen last season after suffering from three separate knee injuries, Frings insists they will win in Vienna to stay in the tournament.
“I am convinced we will qualify for the quarter-finals, we just had a bad match against Croatia,” said the 31-year-old.
“There is a tension amongst the squad, because of the situation we have put ourselves in after a bad performance, but that is positive.
“We always believe we have a good team which can win the match against Austria.
“If everyone does their job, we know we have nothing to fear against any team.
“Against Croatia, many things didn't function and we have talked about it as a squad.
“The coach has discussed it with each and every one of us, but now it is the past, we concentrate on Austria.
And Frings laughed off any criticism of coach Joachim Loew or Germany's playing style which was exposed by the defeat.
“I find it a little laughable that there is a discussion about the coach,” said Frings.
“Two years of positive work cannot be undone by 90 minutes and a bad match. As for the system, I do not see reasons to change some.
“It has been in place for four years and has often enabled us to win.
“One bad match is no reason to start changing it.”
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