Germany defender Mats Hummels believes his side need to improve their attacking edge when they face the Netherlands in their next Euro 2012 match on Wednesday.
Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Portugal sent Germany to joint top of Group B alongside Denmark but Hummels criticised his team’s ability in the final third.
"We want to create more chances in the next game. Against Portugal we were often lacking that final pass,” he said.
"Sometimes our movement up front was too slow but for us it was important not to give the ball away so we wouldn't be vulnerable on the counter attack. Next time we have to take the game into our hands more while maintaining the same stability in defence.”
Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez scored the only goal of the game deep in the second half and Hummels praised the striker’s clinical headed finish past Portugal keeper Rui Patricio.
“[Gomez] was the decisive factor in our win,” said Hummels. “His finish was world class.”
The Euro 2008 runners-up face Bert van Marwijk’s Netherlands in Kharkiv next in an all-important clash after the Dutch lost their opening game to Denmark. The sides last met in November of last year when Germany ran out 3-0 winners but Hummels is aware of the added pressure this time around.
"We are going to review the video of our past game against the Netherlands,” he said. “Of course it will not be the same again. They have to win this time and above all we have to perform better than we did against Portugal.
"I have had two good games against Huntelaar this season. Against Van Persie not so much. It'll be tough to guard one or even both."
The Borussia Dortmund centre-back is confident, though, that his side can go one further than four years ago and insists he has faith in Germany’s defensive co-ordination ahead of their upcoming tie.
"It is different when you play with a team whom you do not train with regularly but the defence was very good on Saturday. You also need a good goalkeeper for a good defence and we had that too. Whether that will be enough against Netherlands we’ll have to see."
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The Top 3 Teams of Previous Tournaments
|2008||Spain||Germany||Russia / Turkey|
|2004||Greece||Portugal||Netherlands / Czech Republic|
|2000||France||Italy||Netherlands / Portugal|
|1996||Germany||Czech Republic||France / England|
|1992||Denmark||Germany||Netherlands / Sweden|
|1988||Netherlands||Soviet Union||Italy / West Germany|
|1984||France||Spain||Denmark / Portugal|
|1972||West Germany||Soviet Union||Belgium|