Timo Werner responds to critics after double for Germany against North Macedonia

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Chelsea ace Timo Werner celebrates during Germany's World Cup qualifying win over North Macedonia

Chelsea’s Timo Werner scored a brace as Germany secured a place at the 2022 World Cup (Picture: Getty)

Timo Werner says he has had to ignore the recent criticism he has received after his double helped Germany cruise to a resounding 4-0 victory over North Macedonia in World Cup qualifying.

Monday night’s one-sided Group J clash in Skopje ensured Germany became the first team – other than host nation Qatar – to book their place at next year’s World Cup.

Kai Havertz broke the deadlock with a cool finish just after half-time and Chelsea team-mate Werner scored a quickfire brace to put Hansi Flick’s side out of sight with 20 minutes remaining at the Toshe Proeski Arena.

Former England youth international Jamal Musiala rounded off a memorable evening with his opening goal for the visitors, calmly slotting past Stole Dimitrievski in the dying moments.

Speaking shortly after the final whistle, Werner said Germany were always confident they would make the breakthrough despite a frustrating first half against a resolute North Macedonia side.

‘It’s always difficult against teams like that. It was good that we didn’t concede, there were one or two dicey situations,’ the Chelsea forward explained.

‘If we push for a goal like this for over 90 minutes, then it’s only a matter of time before we score. 

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‘We then took the lead and then it was a lot easier. That was the difference to the last game.’

Hansi Flick speaks with Timo Werner in Germany training

Werner credits Flick for helping him through his struggles (Picture: Getty)

Germany boss Flick was critical of Werner’s positioning following the side’s 2-1 victory over Romania just three days previous.

But Werner had nothing but praise for his national team manager, who has helped support him through his struggles.

‘He’s very good for me. If a coach likes you and relies on you, it helps every player,’ he added.

‘As a striker, I especially need to be trusted externally. I’m trying to pay it back and I hope that I can keep giving it back.’

Thomas Muller, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz celebrate during Germany's World Cup qualifying win over North Macedonia

Chelsea team-mates Werner and Havertz were both on the scoresheet in North Macedonia (Picture: Getty)

Asked how he has reacted to the recent criticism he has received, Werner replied: ‘It has to roll off you, because if I had been thinking too much about the days, then I would not have been able to play today. 

‘At some point the barrel will be full. I know what I can do and so I go into every game with that mindset.’

Hansi Flick looks on after Germany's win over North Macedonia

Flick made sure to praise Werner’s finishing (Picture: Getty)

In his post-match press conference, Flick praised Werner for silencing his doubters with some superb finishing.

We are always happy about every goal we score,’ he said. 

‘It’s not always easy for him and he had a few chances in the game again today, but he finished this one great.’

On how he builds Werner up after criticism, Flick responded: ‘I think you have to involve the whole coaching team because we are always communicating with the players. 

‘We have little time to train with the players, which means we also have to talk a lot with the players, in groups and in one-to-one conversations or with the team as a whole. 

‘So I would like to pass the praise on to the entire team of coaches, keep it up.’


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