Germany won't target Boateng
Oliver Bierhoff has insisted Germany will not direct any anger towards Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Last Updated: 20/06/10 4:04pm
Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff has insisted his players will not direct any anger towards Kevin-Prince Boateng in Wednesday's crucial match against Ghana.
Ghana midfielder Boateng was responsible for dashing Michael Ballack's World Cup hopes when his tackle in the FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Chelsea ruled the 33-year-old out of the tournament with an ankle injury.
Boateng apologised and said he never intended to hurt Ballack, but Germany fans quickly declared the 23-year-old as their 'public enemy number one', setting up hundreds of internet chat rooms to vent their anger.
Germany's treatment of Boateng will come under scrutiny when they face Ghana in midweek, but Bierhoff says the players must keep control of their emotions.
"I do not think it would be right for us to use our emotions or feelings and channel them against a single person," Bierhoff said.
"Quite irrespective of who is on the pitch for Ghana, we have to concentrate on the game and avoid being provoked, because we will not be playing against Kevin-Prince Boateng, but against Ghana."
Germany shrugged off the absence of Ballack in their opening match to trounce Australia 4-0, but then suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Serbia to leave their qualification hopes in the balance.
Bierhoff is nevertheless confident that Germany can make it through to the last 16 and Ballack appears equally upbeat about the side's chances.
Bierhoff explained: "Michael has spoken to Joachim (Low) and he plans to visit us, but he will only come after the third game and that shows he has every confidence in the team.
"It goes without saying we would have loved to have Michael Ballack here, but no single player can make a difference and turn a game around.
"We have enough quality in the team to solve a situation when the going gets tough.
"If it all ends on Wednesday night then we will have to sit down and lay it all on the table, but that is the furthest thing from our minds at the moment."