Hansi Flick was delighted to see Niklas Fullkrug score on his debut for Germany, but admitted that his side were far from the best despite a 1-0 win over Oman.
The visitors struggled in Muscat in their warm-up for the World Cup, relying on an 80-minute strike from substitute Fullcrag to take the win in a match that never started.
While Germany won’t be the only team battling off-season fatigue, their weak performance against the relative minnows may have highlighted the difficulties they could face in Qatar 2022, which kicks off on Sunday.
Flick took the time to praise Fullkrug, the Werder Bremen striker who won his first international cap after scoring 10 goals in 14 Bundesliga games this season, and expressed concern about their warm-up performance.
“He deserved a goal,” Flick told RTL after the win. “He also had two or three other shots. When he was on the field, you already felt the presence in front.
Germany only won 38.4% of their duels against Oman, but while the head coach acknowledged that they would need to perform better in the World Cup, he admitted that the low number was likely due to his players’ desire to avoid injury.
“Of course, if you see how we fought in duels, you have to say that this is not the level that we need in the World Cup. But you can also understand that no one wants to hurt themselves.”
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 16, 2022
Flick did lose defender Lukas Klostermann in the first half, and the RB Leipzig player only recently returned from a sack with knee ligament problems.
Germany began their World Cup campaign against Japan on 23 November, ahead of further Group E matches with Spain and Costa Rica.