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C. Antuna (37), E. Sánchez (47)
A. Rüdiger (25), N. Füllkrug (51)

Nagelsmann and Gündogan after draw:
"Very certain that we'll be successful."

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

Post-match comments following yesterday evening's 2-2 draw at Lincoln Financial Field were delayed whilst German Bundestrainer Julian Nagelsmann held a team meeting in the stadium locker room. 

After the conclusion of this talk, Nagelsmann and DFB-captain Ilkay Gündogan conducted brief interviews with gave German public broadcaster ARD.
Ilkay Gündogan, Germany
Ilkay Gündogan, GermanyPhoto: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0
The German national team heads home from its brief trip to the United States still undefeated under newly-appointed Bundestrainer Julian Nagelsmann. The DFB-XI will nevertheless be somewhat disappointed that, after defeating the United States 3-1 on Saturday evening in Connecticut, they could only manage a 2-2 draw in an exhibition on Tuesday against Mexico.

Nagelsmann made two personnel changes to the XI that started against the USMNT. Thomas Müller started over Niclas Füllkrug alongside Leroy Sané in the head-coach's preferred 4-2-2-2 constellation. Nagelsmann also turned to Dortmund defender Niklas Süle over his club teammate Mats Hummels. Süle occupied the right back role Jonathan Tah had worked in the previous match while Tah slid in central to pair with Antonio Rüdiger.

The Germans undeniably had issues with their defensive stability during the affair, as evidenced by the fact that (with VAR out of use in the exhibition fixture) Nagelsmann's squad actually technically conceded three goals against the dangerous Mexican attack. Gündogan confirmed that attentive defending had been the primary point of discussion in the locker room.

"He [Nagelsmann] was mostly satisfied with both games," Gündogan told the ARD microphones, "but I don't think we were that good defensively. He saw some things that we can do better. It's a learning process and we can do better in the coming months."

For his part, Nagelsmann noted with conviction that he believed in his team's ability to rectify matters quickly. The 36-year-old emphasized that he was "very, very certain that we'll be successful". The former Hoffenheim, Leipzig, and Bayern trainer also made certain to stress that this very different coaching assignment left him with unique impressions.

"The team is extremely willing to implement things quickly," Nagelsmann said of the national team players, "I have never coached a team that implements things so quickly. Normally, you often have a preparation of four to six weeks and then everything still doesn't work out. It sometimes takes even longer and that wasn't the case at all now."

Nagelsmann briefly addressed the decision to start Süle and move Tah central. Even if - in Nagelsmann's own words - Süle "had difficulty with his rhythm", the Bundestrainer underscored that he was "on the side" of a professional not receiving much playing time with his club. Tah, Nagelsmann added, "did a very good job."

"He [Nagelsmann] told us that he believed in this team," Gündogan summed up when winding down his interview, "We want to repay that trust in the coming weeks and months."

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