Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann said Tuesday his side have an “unbelievable amount of work to do” six months from hosting Euro 2024 after falling to a 2-0 friendly defeat against Austria in Vienna.
Germany fell behind to a Marcel Sabitzer goal in the first half and then lost Leroy Sane early in the second to a red card, the Bayern Munich winger pushing Austria defender Phillipp Mwene in the face and forcing him to the ground.
Christoph Baumgartner then scored a second for Austria as Nagelsmann’s side struggled to fight back with 10 men.
“We’re not playing freely. We’ve an unbelievable amount of work to do in each position,” Nagelsmann told German broadcaster ZDF.
“We need to accept the situation but we can’t fall into the role of being victims.”
Nagelsmann said his side was “a really well-functioning group at training, but it’s not transferring onto the pitch”.
“We’re missing some self-confidence, which is not a surprise when you see the past few months.”
Germany have now won just three of 11 games since the four-time World Cup winners’ embarrassing group-stage exit in Qatar a year ago.
Captain Ilkay Gundogan lamented his side’s “homemade” mistakes, saying things “couldn’t be worse” before Euro 2024.
“Doing it this way, we won’t be successful,” he admitted, adding that his team were lacking cohesion.
“We have to be honest and say it’s not only the defence. I said after Turkey (Germany’s 3-2 loss last weekend) that defence starts up front, with the way we run and pass, and with our attitude.
“We need to infuse ourselves with some positive energy, with some emotion and defend emotionally—right now we’re doing the opposite.”
Defender Mats Hummels, one of the few 2014 World Cup winners remaining in the Germany squad, was confident the team could turn things around before the Euro starts in June.
“It takes a while. We have a bit of time until the Euro. I think we can take massive steps,” he said.
“If we work hard, it could be a really good tournament for us.”
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