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Klose lights up German attack

By Kevin Fylan
June 21, 2006 21:12 IST
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Whenever Germany striker Miroslav Klose has a quiet moment at home, he tries to shoot a ball at the light switches in his house and turn them on or off.

Klose's living room practice sessions are part of a homework programme devised by coach Juergen Klinsmann for his World Cup squad.

"We have large light switches at home," Klose said in an interview with local newspapers in Germany this week. "When I've got nothing to do I try and turn them on or off with the ball.

"I've broken one vase and a picture."

Breakages aside, Klinsmann's advice to work on the accuracy of his shooting seems to be working.

The 28-year-old striker has scored four goals -- two in the opening day 4-2 win over Costa Rica and another brace in the 3-0 win over Ecuador on Tuesday. The hosts also beat Poland 1-0 and will go on to face Sweden in the last 16 in Munich on Saturday.

"It's good that the coach gave us this homework," full-back Arne Friedrich said at a news conference on Wednesday. "We have to assume individual responsibility.

"My task was to work on my agility and I've been doing that."

Since taking over as coach in August 2004, Klinsmann has stressed the importance of physical and mental fitness.

He hired a psychologist and a team of fitness instructors, led by the American Mark Verstegen, and subjected the players to regular checks before raising the workload at pre-World Cup training camps in Sardinia and Geneva.

"I can admit now that the results of the fitness checks were not that good," Klinsmann said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"We knew we had work to do and we did it, giving everyone an individual programme.

"All the hard work we did was worth it."

Germany have just two more days to recover before their game against Sweden in Munich on Saturday but Klinsmann has the luxury of a full squad at his disposal, with no suspensions or serious injuries.

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Kevin Fylan
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