Kevin Volland: “No fear of big names”

After an unfortunate 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands in their opening European U21 Championship game in Israel, next up for Hoffenheim players Sebastian Rudy, Stefan Thesker and Kevin Volland are defending champions Spain (Sunday, 20.30 CET). spoke to the TSG striker about his team's performance boost following his introduction in Germany's first game and Sunday's pivotal encounter.

Kevin, it was certainly a blow when the Netherlands scored a second goal in the 39th minute, just as you were waiting to join the action. What was going through your head at the time?

It was clear to me that I had to give the side some impetus straightaway. There wasn't a lot going through my head – we were desperate to turn the game around and we nearly did that with a great second-half performance. The annoying part was conceding in the 90th minute.

You helped turn the game around – Germany were 2-0 down when you came on and they pulled it back to 2-2. That was hardly surprising for TSG fans because you're a fighter that never gives up. Do you think that you have earned a starting place against Spain with your performance?

I just keep giving it everything I've got, whether that's in training or in a game. I'm trying to present myself in the best way possible and then it's up to the manager whether he plays me or not.

It's now an all-or-nothing game against, of all teams, the defending champions. Your attack has a lot of quality – you showed that in the second half against the Netherlands. But there were also some issues at the back. What's the plan? To score goals or to stop them?

Both of course! We have to play courageously in attack and we can't have any fear of big names. I think if we tackle well, do a lot of running, show our desire and call on our technical ability then we have a good chance against Spain.

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