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Kroos outburst doesn't faze Bierhoff
Published : 16 Jun 2012 17:48:24
Germany's team manager Oliver Bierhoff has admitted some sympathy for disgruntled midfielder Toni Kroos, who is unhappy about his lack of Euro 2012 game time, ahead of Sunday's Denmark match.
Group B leaders Germany take on Denmark in Lviv, Ukraine, needing only a point to be sure of reaching the quarter-finals, but Kroos is likely to start on the bench for the third time.
Germany have an embarrassment of midfield riches in their squad, with Bayern Munich's Kroos just one of several top Bundesliga performers finding themselves on the bench behind first choice trio Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski.
"The fact Toni has expresed his discontent is not completely crazy, he does have a point of course," said Bierhoff with competition fierce for places in Joachim Loew's starting side.
"For us, it is important how a player behaves in the team and we see no problems.
"There comes a time when a player produces a flippant statement or expresses his discontent, that's not so bad.
"If players are unhappy when they don't play, it shows they are not here just to pass the time."
While Spain star Fernando Torres has insisted he has no problem taking his place on the star-studded Spanish bench if need be, in contrast Kroos has grumbled despite coming on only late in the wins over Holland and Portugal.
"It's not very satisfying," said the 22-year-old, who has played 12 minutes at Euro 2012.
"After the season I have played, it is logical that I want to play."
Kroos can consider himself lucky to have played at all as Borussia Dortmund stars Marco Reus and Mario Goetze have jet to play a single second, despite stellar club seasons.
Veteran striker Miroslav Klose has also had to be content with two appearances from the bench, despite having made 118 appearances for Germany, scoring 63 goals.
While Bierhoff said Germany must be "very careful" against Denmark, coach Joachim Loew has said he was relaxed before the team flew to Ukraine on Saturday.
"Ultimately, I know the team are in the right place, so I am relatively calm," Loew told German radio ARD.
"We have strengthened our style of play," he said while adding Germany had to improve their finishing before the Dutch game.