Tue01162018

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Low: We've not lost edge

Coach Joachim Low has hit back at Germany's critics ahead of Friday's quarter-final clash with Greece in Gdansk.

The Germans have won all three of their matches at Euro 2012 so far, but have been accused of abandoning their exciting brand of football for a more functional style.

Low's young side are one of the favourites to win the title, and the German coach claims it is the opposition's tactics that have made their games cagey affairs.

“Are you insinuating we are moving from our philosophy? I don’t agree,” he said. “We don’t play to grind out goalless draws. The attack-mindedness is the same, and we won a strong group.

“We beat Holland and Portugal after learning from conceding five against the Swiss [in a pre-tournament friendly] that we had to find the right balance between defence and a strong attack.

“If we were playing Brazil in a friendly match, then you can play with an exciting all-out attack, but not in a tournament. You cannot always send every third or fourth ball into the penalty area.

“Holland and Denmark kept their opponents away from their half so we were forced to spread play sometimes instead, even if we got more possession as a result.

"My basic philosophy of attacking football has not changed. We took nine points from the so called 'Group of Death' so we achieved all that could be achieved."

Germany will come up against either England or Italy in the semi-finals if - as expected - they beat Greece.