Germany's Loew brushes off melancholy talk, says only focus is World Cup qualifier

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FILE PHOTO: Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group C - Netherlands v Germany

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Germany coach Joachim Loew said he was in no mood for melancholy and was fully focused on his team's World Cup qualifier at home to North Macedonia on Wednesday, ahead of this summer's Euros - set to be his last tournament after 15 years in charge.

The 61-year-old, who will step down after the Euro tournament this summer, wants to make it three wins out of three qualifiers and put his team firmly on track for a spot at next year's World Cup in Qatar.

"I feel absolutely no melancholy ahead of this game at the moment," Loew told a virtual news conference ahead of Wednesday's qualifier in Duisburg.

Loew took over in 2006, coaching Germany through three World Cups and winning the title in 2014 in Brazil.

After Wednesday, Germany will play warm-up games against Latvia and Denmark before the Euro tournament starts on June 11.

"I am not even thinking about the whole situation that I will stop after the Euro. All the focus is on the game tomorrow and then looking ahead to the tournament this summer," Loew said.

"The entire coaching staff is focused and looking at what needs to be done. The game must be won tomorrow."

"North Macedonia have highly skilled players and they are at the level of Romania, I would say. It will be a tough game."

The Germans have beaten Iceland and Romania to top Group J on six points ahead of Armenia on goal difference. Only the group winner earns automatic qualification.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson)