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Germany boss Loew under pressure for Dutch, French tests

AFP  |  Berlin 

faces the toughest tests of his 12-year tenure as in the forthcoming matches away to the and world champions

After earning himself some breathing space following a 0-0 draw with Didier Deschamps' in Munich last month, Loew must take points from the Dutch on Saturday in Amsterdam, and French in next Tuesday, to restore his tarnished reputation.

His former turned on him this week, claiming he was "surprised" Loew kept his job in the wake of Germany's debacle when they crashed out after the group stage.

Jurgen Klinsmann, Germany's with Loew as his at the 2006 World Cup, also ramped up the pressure by saying a semi-final berth at the 2020 European Championship is now a "minimum requirement".

"It's expected 'Jogi' will redeem himself with victories and by reaching the semi-finals of the next Euro," Klinsmann told magazine Sport Bild.

The former striker, 54, says his post-conversations with Loew convince him that the 58-year-old still has the necessary "hunger" to succeed.

Unusually, Loew, who steered to the 2014 title, has yet to face the press this week, leaving to defend him on Thursday from Ballack's criticism.

- Pressure on Werner -

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"I think he has deserved this chance and I am convinced we will sort ourselves out with Jogi Loew," insisted Kroos.

"These next two games, against Holland and France, are music to the ears and we hear the sound of six points. We want two wins." Despite signing a contract extension with the German FA in May until the 2022 World Cup, defeats against the and would leave Loew facing growing calls to resign.

The draw with France and a 2-1 friendly win over last month, in the first matches since a disastrous World Cup, were viewed as no more than sufficient by the German public.

Likewise, the performances of RB Leipzig striker will be heavily scrutinised, having failed to hit the net in his last five international appearances.

If Werner again misfires against the Dutch in Amsterdam, Schalke's is set to make his debut in the famous white shirt.

There are concerns in the German media that the dip in form of Bayern Munich, who are winless in their last four games, is bad for Loew and the defence.

Manuel Neuer, plus centre-backs and - the axis of Germany's defence - have produced below-par performances for Bayern in recent weeks.

Bayern forward Thomas Mueller, one of Loew's trusted senior players, who struggled badly at the World Cup, has also been out of form.

Loew's playmaker is sidelined by a knee injury, which gives a chance to Manchester City's

The 22-year-old was a surprise omission from squad and wants to show Loew why he was voted the Premier League's best last season.

elsewhere forced Loew into further changes after Kevin Trapp, defender Antonio Ruediger, Leon Goretzka, and Reus dropped out of the original 23-man squad.

They have been replaced by Emre Can, Bayern and

After repeated criticism for too often turning to his trusted core of senior players regardless of form, Loew must be bold in his selection - or risk more damaging defeats.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, October 12 2018. 09:45 IST
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