PORTO SEGURO, Brazil (AP) — Players coming off the bench could have an unusually big impact on games at the World Cup because of the difficult weather conditions in Brazil, according to Germany coach Joachim Loew.
That means players shouldn't necessarily think of being a substitute as a punishment, Loew said — rather it's an opportunity to come on and decide the game against a tiring opposition in the second half.
"The second half will bring another stage of the match, that's when the substitutes can make a difference," Loew said. "At this World Cup it will be impossible to play an entire match with the 11 players who started."
Germany plays its Group G games in Salvador, Recife and Fortaleza, where the weather is warm and humid. Loew says the climate will be a major factor in the tournament.
The German team opens against Portugal on Monday in Salvador, then plays Ghana on June 21 in Recife and the United States on June 26 in Fortaleza.
"We have very good conditions in our camp here and we've adjusted somewhat to the heat and humidity," Loew said in his first news conference since Germany arrived in Brazil. "You have to adjust to these weather conditions but after three, four days you get used to it."
Loew said he was pleased that his team picked the Atlantic coast for its base because the weather is similar to the conditions in match venues.
"At this World Cup, you will not only have to beat the rival, you will have to beat the kickoff times and the weather," he said. "All 23 players have to be ready at an instant's notice."