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Jun 6, 2014

Loew accepts failure could lead to axe

Joachim Loew accepts he is likely to lose his job if Germany fail to emerge from their World Cup group this summer, saying change would be "necessary."

- Honigstein: Kroos' central role for Germany
- Uersfeld: Germany driven to distraction

Germany are considered among the favourites for this summer's tournament but they have endured a series of problems during their preparations and, having been drawn alongside Portugal, the United States and Ghana, face what Cristiano Ronaldo has described the "strongest group" in Brazil.

Loew, who became Germany head coach in 2006 after serving as Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant, had initially proved popular in the country after leading Die Nationalmannschaft to the final at Euro 2008 and then the semifinals at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 but he has come under increasing pressure from the media amid increasing concerns over their ability to deliver in Brazil.

The respected German tactics website Spielverlagerung said in its World Cup preview that the public perception of Loew could be likened to that of Berti Vogts, who led Germany to success at Euro 96 but resigned two years later when exiting the 1998 World Cup at the quarterfinal stage.

"In the view of the public, Loew has long since reached the Berti Vogts point, where the players win the titles, not the coach," Spielverlagerung's editorial read. "Loew is going into a difficult World Cup. In the quest for the title, every little mistake will be exploited -- the media coverage of the training camp was only a taste of what is to come."

Asked about the growing criticism at his news conference on Thursday, Loew -- who recently prolonged his contract until 2016 -- acknowledged that he would need to win over the doubters.

"I have a contract, but I also know that a Bundestrainer [German national coach] will always be judged by the team's performance in a tournament," he said. "Should we be eliminated at the group stage, it would be necessary that changes are made.

"But I am not concerned with 'what if?' scenarios. What happens to me is not of any importance. The players are not interested in it, and nor am I. We are all focused. What happens after the World Cup, we shall see."

Loew did confirm, however, that he would remain in the post if Germany secured the World Cup.

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