Werder Bremen midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has acknowledged that the statements he made to the Belgian press about life in Germany might have been "stupid".
Belgium international De Bruyne, on a year-long loan from Chelsea, told Het Nieuwsblad that he was spending every minute of his free time in his homeland, was refusing to learn German and was shocked by the mentality in the country. He also insisted he wanted to return to Chelsea when the loan deal expired.
The interview was picked up by the German media and caused controversy, but Bremen chief executive Klaus Allofs moved quickly to insist it was all a misunderstanding and had been settled in a phone call.
Allofs told Kreiszeitung Syke: "Kevin has four years left on his Chelsea contract - it would be stupid for him to say, 'I am happy in Bremen and never want to leave again'. But I will stand up against people now saying he's just a mercenary."
De Bruyne, returning from international duty, faced questions about the interview on Wednesday.
He told reporters: "In the interviews I said I happily signed for Bremen as they offered me the chance to play and step up to the next level, but I also said, 'Chelsea are my bosses'. It's a one-year-loan after all."
He added: "It is perfectly normal to miss friends and family. I am not unhappy in Bremen. If I was unhappy, I wouldn't have played as well."
The 21-year-old said he could see why he might face a backlash from the home fans during Saturday's game against Borussia Monchengladbach.
"Maybe it was stupid to put it the way I put it," he said. "I can understand if they are a bit annoyed, and some of them might even whistle me on Saturday, but I back the fans, and I hope the fans back me as well. I will do all I can on the pitch."
De Bruyne has scored three goals and provided one assist in his seven Bundesliga games to date.