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Loew retracts Schmelzer criticism
16 Oct., 2012 8:48 AM GMT
Germany coach Joachim Loew has taken back his criticism of defender Marcel Schmelzer.
Loew openly blasted the left-back, suggesting he could be dropped if another team-mate looks ready to take his place.
The 52-year-old head coach made his initial comments after Schmelzer had not performed well in a recent match against Austria.
"Schmelzer did not have a good game (against Austria). Many of the alternatives are not ready, we have to keep working with Schmelzer for the next two, three, four or five months," Loew told reporters.
However, after the 6-1 win over the Republic of Ireland, Loew has retracted those comments and says he has personally apologised to the Dortmund player.
Loew said: "I've looked at everything I said again and have to admit I have come across very harsh. I have apologised to him (Schmelzer) for this."
The Germany boss also stressed the importance of having a strong bench against Sweden on Tuesday and Loew made it clear he would not underestimate his next opponents.
"There's always a time where you have an Iniesta on the bench, a Torres or a Villa. You need a strong bench, it also has to be noted that Sweden are a team with a lot of organisation and are very, very strong."