Germany are going to have to get used to teams sticking 11 men behind the ball and defending against them, according to Thomas Muller.

They managed to break down a defensive Republic of Ireland side in Cologne on Friday night to book their ticket to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, and the Bayern Munich playmaker believes that is going to be something they have to get to grips with.

"It was hard work," he said. "They were in their own 18-yard box all game and it's not easy to play against.

"I can understand that teams do that against us, it's not forbidden, but we've got to resolve the situation and think we did that well."

We've still got to stabilise our defence more. We've kept another clean sheet, which is good, but we can improve.

Joachim Low

Germany found a solution, aided by an early deflected goal, and won comfortably.

Andre Schurrle remarked: "We knew it would be like this and they'd pack men in and play long balls, but we were patient. We looked for the gaps and deserved to win."

Low stresses need to improve
Breaking down an Irish side who had the slimmest chance of qualifying for the World Cup will be different to breaking down sides in a Brazil 2014 quarter-final, for example, and coach Joachim Low admitted there is still plenty of room for improvement.

"We've still got to stabilise our defence more," he told ARD television. "We've kept another clean sheet, which is good, but we can improve."

He was nevertheless satisfied and quick to congratulate his players at the final whistle - a bit too quickly for Robbie Keane's liking.

"He told me that I should have shook the hand of the Ireland coach first, but I wanted to thank my players," said Low, playing down a minor confrontation on the touchline shortly after the final whistle.