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Nagelsmann defends Havertz, discusses possible changes against Austria

By Rune Gjerulff   @runegjerulff

At his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday's clash with Austria, Julian Nagelsmann defended Kai Havertz against criticism and discussed possible changes to the team that lost to Turkey.
Julian Nagelsmann.
Julian Nagelsmann.
Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann pulled a rabbit out of his hat with his starting lineup for Saturday's friendly against Turkey, starting Kai Havertz at left-back.

Despite getting on the scoresheet early on, Havertz has received a lot of criticism in the media for his performance in an unusual position - much to the surprise of Nagelsmann, who thought the Arsenal star had a good game.

"We played with the same formation as on the USA tour. Kai didn't play the classic left-back role. I'm really surprised that he was criticized as a left-back. He won all his tackles and stood up well," Nagelsmann told reporters.

"Kai did very well and did a good job of stopping the Turkish counter-attacks."

Despite his satisfaction with Havertz's performance, Nagelsmann wouldn't guarantee another starting place for the 24-year-old at left-back against Austria.

"We might play someone else at left-back, but Kai is also an option. We'll decide after training."

In general, Nagelsmann said he doesn't plan to make too many changes.

"We always try to change things without changing too much. We have an idea from the beginning and just change the players," said Nagelsmann.

"It's about positioning yourself well to win the ball. But we'll see if we make any changes.

"We're not going to do things completely different, we're just going to make some adjustments," said the Germany coach.

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