Julian Draxler believes revamped Germany are ready to regain their “old strength”.
Germany finished bottom of their group at the 2018 World Cup but are rebuilding, with boss Joachim Low having cleared out a host of old guard stars.
Low will miss Germany’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia due to a contused artery that required hospital treatment, leaving assistant Marcus Sorg to take charge.
Paris St Germain forward Draxler is back in Germany’s ranks for the first time in almost a year, and admitted to discovering a new feeling in the squad.
“In November I had to miss out due to family reasons and then I was injured in March,” said Draxler, who was part of the Germany squad that won the 2014 World Cup.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been part of the team and I’m very happy to be back again.
“A lot has happened over the last few months. We’ve started to build up a new team.
“Something had to happen after our bad World Cup showing. We are highly motivated and want to achieve big things during the next objectives that lie ahead of us.
“It will take time until we’re back at the same level as the 2014 and 2016 teams, but if we keep working hard on ourselves then we have the potential to find our way back to our old strength.”
Draxler expects a tough examination in Belarus on Saturday, calling on Germany’s new young stars to prove their worth as they look to make it two wins from two in Group C.
“I’m still young and there is still room for improvement,” the 25-year-old Draxler told DFB.de.
“I’m glad that I’m able to help build a new team.
“We’re on the path to building a completely new team with a new hierarchy.
“There are many new players on the team. With 50 caps, I obviously have a certain level of experience, but far be it from me to say that I’ll take over complete responsibility.
“Everyone has to help out in order for us to be successful again—that goes for me as well.”
Belarus boss Igor Kriushenko, whose team prop up Group C after losing both their opening two matches, admitted he could switch to a three-man defence in a bid to contain Germany.
Kriushenko also conceded he had wanted to hand Denis Scherbitski a chance in goal only for the BATE Borisov keeper to be ruled out through injury.
“We’ve analysed Germany; recently we have been playing more with two central defenders, but this option of three we’ll keep in mind,” said Kriushenko.
“The final decision will be made on the day of the game.
“Denis has long been among the candidates for the national team. I had wanted him to make his debut in a competitive game.”
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