FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s goal-scorers may be grabbing the headlines at Euro 2024 but defender Jonathan Tah said their defence has been the key to their two wins so far as they head into their final Group A game against Switzerland on Sunday.

Julian Nagelsmann said he would field a strong team as the Germans aim to make it a perfect three wins from three matches against the Swiss to top the group and head into the knockout stage, and Tah agreed with his coach’s reasoning.

“We want to win every single match and we want to come top of our group. We want to be the first, we want to see Germany at the top of the list, at the top of the rankings,” Tah told reporters.

The 28-year-old said that Nagelsmann’s criticism of Germany’s defence following a string of poor results in 2023 had stung the players and that they were now much more cohesive as a team.

“It’s not just a matter of the defenders defending, it’s a matter of the whole team defending – we must be united, we must be able to suffer all together and mentally speaking, we must accept there are some phases of the match where we have to defend all together,” Tah explained.

The central defender said he is looking forward to playing against his Bayer Leverkusen team mate Granit Xhaka on Sunday as the two teams battle it out to see who will win the group.

“We know each other very well … he’s a real leader, he always wants to win,” Tah said. “Tomorrow will be a very, very interesting and entertaining game.”

Switzerland are second in the group on four points, two behind Germany, with third-placed Scotland (one point) facing bottom side Hungary, who have no points, in the group’s other game.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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