Berlin – Germany's Real Madrid star Sami Khedira has said the national side must get back to basics in their World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland after he admitted careless mistakes have crept into their game.
Germany top Group C with two wins from two but have been unconvincing since their Euro 2012 semi-final defeat to Italy in June.
“It's about consistently acting as a unit and team. We have lost our way,” Khedira told Friday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.
“We have forgotten the small details and fine elements which are important for our game to be successful.”
After Germany produced flowing attacking football to finish third at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Joachim Loew's team were unimpressive in their Euro 2012 campaign when they lost to Italy in the semi-finals.
“Now it is our duty to again show, like we did some of the time at the Euro, the almost perfect level of football,” he said.
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness criticised Loew last weekend for being too soft on his players after they visited a Formula One race during their Euro 2012 preparations.
But Khedira said the players should ignore the debate and focus on football.
“We should not let the talk about luxury, leisure activities or sponsors drive us crazy,” he said.
“We are free people and the national squad should not be like a prison in which we are locked up.
“If any player was locked up in the team hotel for four weeks during a major tournament, I don't think he would produce his best performance.”
Germany face Ireland in Dublin on Friday and Sweden in Berlin next Tuesday. – Sapa-AFP