One victory, one draw and three defeats, the intermediate balance of the German team at the EURO 2010 is not satisfying. Coach Heiner Brand and his players have made that point very clear.
They hope for a better future and more success in the upcoming tournaments in 2011 and 2012. "We have a lot of young players who are playing their first big tournament. We simply lack experience", Brand said after the 20:25 loss against Spain.
For the Thursday match against the Czech Republic Germany plan to show their old fighting spirit again.
"It´s hard for us to motivate, as all of our objectives have been missed," goalkeeper Johannes Bitter mentioned. "As we all suspected before we didn´t make it to the semi-finals, but now we also missed the placement match for rank five."
German top scorer Torsten Jansen added: "Without an objective to focus on it is very hard to play. Still we want to win against the Czechs and end the EHF EURO 2010 with a good last match.
Prior to the start of the tournament the German team changed several players and positions. Brand has already started his preparation for the Olympics in London. "We have the time and the chance to improve, as my players have to learn a lot. Currently we are not at the level of the top nations but I hope this will change in the next years."
Not impossible, as some of the youngsters like Christoph Theuerkauf and Uwe Gensheimer have already showed a lot of class in Austria. Also injured key players like sharpshooter Pascal Hens will return to the team after the EURO.
Hens attended the match against Spain and said: "This wasn´t exhilarating. In previous matches we fought as a team until the end, against Spain the fighting spirit was missing. But when you´re down you can still climb back to the top. My hope is that we can start climbing that steep hill against the Czechs already."
For Brand top priority is his players to recover quickly: "We need more power, but my players are tired. We need to play with respect against the Czechs."
Brand then continued to summarize the event from a German point of view: "On the one hand we played a much better EURO qualification than we did here in Austria. On the other hand we didn´t have so many matches against top nations in such a short time back then."
By beating the Czechs the Germans want to avoid their worst ever EURO result, which was rank nine in 1994 and in 2000.