Atmosphere much better after criticism, says Hummels
Germany defender Mats Hummels has insisted the atmosphere within the team is back on track after the critical fallout from their shock loss to Mexico at the World Cup.
Hummels was one of the players most vocal following Germany's 1-0 defeat to Mexico in Group F last week – the Bayern Munich defender criticising the tactics used.
There were also claims of squad disharmony as the world champions were left reeling and facing a must-win match against Sweden on Saturday.
However, back at the scene of last year's Confederations Cup triumph in sunny Sochi, Hummels said everything is fine after discussions within Joachim Low's side.
"The atmosphere is much better, we are getting back on track," Hummels told reporters on Thursday. "Everybody wants to get back in form and on the pitch. We had some days now where we were down a bit but now we know everything is still possible when we reach our potential then we can play a good tournament.
"The talks we had were very good, we spoke about our weaknesses and these are hopefully behind us now. Of course we are still looking on what we have to do against Sweden but the Mexico game is now behind us.
"We know that now the only thing that is important is what we do on the pitch. All stuff around us is also important but on the pitch is the most important thing for us."
Hummels added: "I wasn't the only one – I think Jerome [Boateng] also was critical after the match. Internally even more players spoke up, which I think was great. From that we are now fishing out the best input."
Sweden – who edged South Korea 1-0 – and Mexico won their opening games, leaving Germany facing the prospect of a premature exit in Russia.
"The team has to be hot, because this is already a knockout game for us now," Germany striker Mario Gomez said. "So we feel like having two knockout games more, instead of those group stage matches. I think we have been good in those type of matches in the past years.
"We always knew what matters. Of course the first match was a brutally negative experience for us, we didn't expect that. Our weaknesses were revealed, but we worked on that and we go on doing so before the game [against Sweden], so I'm positive that we will show another performance."