Germany will look to youth after Nations League relegation - Joachim Low
Germany will give young players a chance to stake a claim after suffering relegation from the UEFA Nations League Group A, coach Joachim Low has said.
Germany face Netherlands on Monday in their last Nations League group game, having already been relegated thanks to Netherlands' win against France, and are looking to cap a terrible year with a good performance.
They started the year as reigning world champions and overwhelming favourites to retain the World Cup in Russia. Yet they exited the tournament at their earliest stage in 80 years and are heading into 2019 after a German-record six defeats so far within a calendar year, leading Low to look to the future.
"The Netherlands deserved their win against the world champions," Low told the German FA's website. "For us, the feeling is obviously quite bitter since we now no longer have chance to stay in League A. We have to accept that.
"Our focus however is now like it was before -- solely on qualifying for the European Championship, where we want to send a strong team out.
"With this in mind we will have lots of room to allow young players to come in and for them to get more and more experience with the national team.
"In this year, which overall has been very disappointing for us, we want to put on a good show for the fans on Monday in Gelsenkirchen."
Later, at a prematch news conference, Low, who has been in charge since 2006, said the team's demise in 2018 was unexpected but part of a normal cycle in sport and he is now focused on rebuilding.
"We now want to say goodbye [to 2018] with a good performance and show the fans that we are on the right track to recovery," Low told a news conference.
"We had a decade of rising to the top and there sometimes can be a year where nothing works.
"It was something completely new for me. Now we have reached a phase where we have to renew things, improve, start from scratch. We need to draw the right conclusions and take the right measures.
"If you think you can be in the top four in the world for over 20 years then you don't understand football. It is just like life. Sometimes you have to start lower down. We were the top team for a long time."
Information from Reuters was used in this report.