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Sep 6, 2013

Muller warning over defensive frailties

Thomas Muller has said he is looking forward to Germany’s World Cup qualifier in Munich -- but warned his team-mates that they could not continue to make individual defensive mistakes.

• Honigstein: Low yet to make case for defence
• Low bullish amid defence criticism

Muller, 23, had his say on the debate about Germany’s defence, referring to errors made in the 3-3 draw against Paraguay -- a game in which he was on target.

“You have to differentiate between tactical and individual mistakes," he said at a press conference on Thursday. “A system can be perfect, but the best system can’t insulate individual mistakes.”

And he added that defending was all-important, saying: “One-nil victories are the most fun to me. Have you defended a 1-0 lead for 80 minutes? That’s pure adrenaline until the last minutes.

“When you are five up after 50 minutes, you might be able to say: ‘Wow! That was a gala!’ But, on the pitch, those final 30 minutes are no longer fun.”

Muller has played in all four of Bayern Munich’s league games this season, starting three, but has struggled to make an impact in Pep Guardiola’s new system.

In the opening game of the season, a 3-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach, he missed a penalty, with his overall performance given a poor rating in kicker magazine.

He will play in his more accustomed role on the right against Austria -- and will be up against Bayern team-mate David Alaba, who will be on Austria’s left. Bayern captain Philipp Lahm is set to win his 100th cap.

“I am not in contact with him [Alaba] right now,” Muller said. “I will get in touch with him after the game.”

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