Germany coach Hansi Flick has no plans to step down if the four-time world champions crash out of the World Cup early for the second straight tournament, he said on Wednesday.
Flick, who took over last year after Joachim Loew’s 15 years at the helm, has seen his team lose their Group E opener to Japan before rescuing a 1-1 draw with Spain thanks to a late equaliser. The Germans were eliminated in the first round at the 2018 World Cup, at that time their earliest exit in over 80 years.
“I can confirm it (I will be staying on) from my side but I have a contract until 2024 and I look forward to the home Euros (in 2024) but it is a long time until then,” he told a news conference. Germany will host the Euro 2024 tournament.
The Germans are with their backs to the wall in their last match against Costa Rica on Thursday, needing a win to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stage. Victory over Costa Rica, who lost 7-0 in their opener to Spain, coupled with a win for Spain against Japan, would see them through along with the Spaniards.
A draw between Spain and Japan in the other game, however, or even a win for the Asians, would take the equation to goal difference.
“We want to kill off the game early so as to pile pressure on the other group game,” he said. “They (Costa Rica) will be defensive most likely. We need to do it and we have to have the attitude we showed against Spain.”
Costa Rica have had only one shot on target in their two matches so far but it was enough to score the winner against Japan.
“When you look at the table Costa Rica have a chance to reach the round of 16. A draw, and a win for Spain, is enough for them to advance,” Flick said. “I expect from Costa Rica a defensive performance as they did it against Japan.”
“We have to find solutions against that.” Depending on the other game’s result, qualification could come down to goal difference, with Spain’s big win over the Central Americans giving them the edge. Scoring more goals against Costa Rica than Spain is not an option for Flick.
“I think it would show a lack of respect to Costa Rica to talk about scoring eight goals,” he said.
“We will be happy if we win it and that is our aim. We want to try to decide it for us from the start. But to come back from that 7-0 and deliver such a defensive performance against Japan deserves respect.”
As for pressure, Flick is not feeling it even though Germany’s tournament reputation is on the line.
“We have the qualification not entirely in our own hands,” he said. “But what is pressure?… I feel no pressure. Not after the game against Japan either. I am convinced we are on a good path.”