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Hermann: 'Returning to normal will help'

Germany's international break was thrown into tatters by the events of recent days. How has the team been affected mentally? Team psychologist Hans-Dieter Hermann has described the mood of the camp.

Events in Paris and Hanover have dominated headlines in the final international break of the calendar year. The German national team was at the heart of the main incidents, while the German FA (DFB) and authorities dealt with a bomb threat upon arrival in the French capital.

Germany lost 2-0 to Didier Deschamps' side as attacks took place across Paris last Friday, creating an odd atmosphere in the stadium with the full 90 minutes being completed. Meanwhile, as the team approached the HDI-Arena in Hannover, the bus was turned back following a decision from the German interior minister to call off the friendly match with the Netherlands.

"Everyone thought that match was going to take place," the DFB's team psychologist Hans-Dieter Hermann said in an interview published on the German FA's website. "For this reason, the disappointment was palpable when they found out shortly before kickoff that it had been called off.

"Despite the initial concerns of our team, the match was meant to be an opportunity for the players to make a stand. The boys wanted a piece of sporting normality, but also to show solidarity with France and the victims.

"The players were, as far as I could tell, were concerned, but not incapacitated. When the bus suddenly changed route, and we were told it had been called off, the atmosphere was noticeably tense."

First-hand accounts

Frankreich Terror in Paris Stade de France

Fans spill on to the pitch following France's win over Germany at the Stade de France

In an interview published in Monday's edition of the German sports magazine "Kicker", Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng said he had learned about the attacks at half time. As security around the Stade de France tightened, the German players were told to remain in the stadium overnight and most players were unable to sleep, according to the player.

Since the postponement of the clash in Hanover, the players have left the national team camp and returned to their club teams where they began their final preparations for the return of the Bundesliga at the weekend. Hermann thinks a return to normality will be welcome for the players who will have been left shaken by the decision not to play on Tuesday.

"It is not good that they didn't play yesterday," said Hermann. "The game would have been good both as a statement and for the players psychologically - for everyone.

"Stress and dangerous situations affect people in different ways. These are things that you can't notice immediately by looking at someone. It's worth bearing in mind that worries and fears sometimes take a few days to surface for some people.

"Returning to day-to-day routines at clubs and talking to families will help, though. The players all know that they can ask for help."

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