Germany vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger has explained his recent remarks about the squad at UEFA EURO 2012 - and hopes they will be taken in the right context.
Schweinsteiger recently complained that not everybody on the bench in Poland and Ukraine appeared pleased when Germany scored. And the midfielder felt that at his club side Bayern Munich there was a stronger sense of camaraderie.
In attempting to clarify the comments, Schweinsteiger said today: "I don't want anything bad, I just want that we get better and that the very last cog turns as well so that we can win against the big nations.
"It was just the way I perceived things. It should not be anything negative or [seen as] criticism of the national team. I just want us to get better and that we all sacrifice ourselves for a big, common goal."
Despite causing controversy in Germany, Schweinsteiger said he would not alter his remarks in hindsight.
"I stick to my opinion, but I have already discussed it with (general manager) Oliver Bierhoff and the national team coach," he revealed. "There is not really much else to say. I am surprised with the attention it received. There are more important things."
The next game is against Republic of Ireland on Friday, when Germany will be looking to continue their perfect start to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualification in Dublin after back-to-back wins over Faroe Islands and Austria.
"It is always something really special to play in Ireland," said Schweinsteiger, turning his focus to the matter in hand. "I have already had the pleasure of playing in Ireland.
"It is not easy to win there because the Irish are very strong and combative, they wear their hearts on their sleeves and have an experienced coach. In addition, they have a passionate crowd - the atmosphere there is always fantastic."
Schweinsteiger should return to the Germany side after being rested a month ago.
"I am grateful to the coach that I was given the time to get completely fit," he said. "I feel fit now, which is why things are going well for me at the moment, and I hope things carry on this way."