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Women's Euro: Steffi Jones and Co. 'not looking through rose tinted glasses'

Germany take on Denmark Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Women's Euro in the Netherlands. Germany have faced much criticism over their lack of goal production, but Steffi Jones is not worried.

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Germany and Denmark in WEC quarterfinal

Head coach Steffi Jones and her squad have heard or read all of the criticism about the fact that in their three group-stage games in the Netherlands, the holders failed to score a single goal from open play; three of their four goals came from the penalty spot, the fourth came courtesy of a goalkeeping error after a free kick.

At a press conference, though, Jones came to her players' defense, saying that the German media were reporting on her team's performance in a very "black and white" manner, and that little positive had been said or written about her squad.

"We're not just lying around and hugging one another the whole time, enjoying the sun, looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses and thinking that everything is okay," she told reporters at Germany's camp at Sint Michielsgestel.

Specifically, she complained that very little was being made about the fact that Germany had dominated their opponents in their last two Group B matches, generating a plethora of goal-scoring chances.

Need to come 'more through wide areas'

At the same time, though, she conceded that some of the criticism was justified, such as the fact "that we need to score goals and at times we are trying to move through the center (of the pitch) and should be coming more through the wide areas."

Jones also said she and her coaching staff were working with the team on their weaknesses during training.

"They are running hard, they want to and are doing everything they can, but the ball just doesn't want to go in. They can do it though, they just have to believe in themselves," said the 44-year-old former Germany defender.

Unsurprisingly, she didn't reveal who would be in her starting 11 for Saturday night's quarterfinal against Denmark in Rotterdam. However, Jones did say that unlike in the group stage - in which a total of 20 of her players got at least some playing time - she plans to go with a much more stable starting lineup.

Having faced three opponents who were determined above all to defend, Germany could find goals hard to come by against a Denmark team that conceded just two goals in the group stage. On the other hand, they only scored two goals - both having come from open play.

Concerns about a familiar face

Either way, the Germans are particularly concerned about a familar face. Striker Pernille Harder, who since January has played her club football at Bundesliga and German Cup champions Wolfsburg, has 46 goals in 89 appearances for her country.

Harder's teammate at Wolfsburg, central defender Babett Peter, expects to have her work cut out.

"It's going to be a real challenge for me, because she is a really good striker and she knows every trick in the book," Peter said.

Steffi Jones' team will also be forewarned to be on their toes from the opening whistle - both of Denmark's goals happen to have come inside the first six minutes of play.

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