Joachim Low refused to be drawn into a war of words with Michael Ballack as he insisted he felt no undue pressure in Germany’s top job.
Speaking to Deutsche Welle on Thursday, decorated former national team captain Ballack expressed surprise that Low remained head coach in the wake of the World Cup debacle.
Germany’s defence of their 2014 crown ended in the ignominy of a first group-stage exit since 1938, but the German Football Association (DFB) stuck by the long-serving 58-year-old after extending his contract in May.
Low brushed off Ballack’s criticism and claimed to be under no more scrutiny than usual.
“I saw the headline, people can say what they want, but I’m really not interested,” the Die Mannschaft boss told reporters.
“This week I have other thoughts in my head and next week even more.
“I’ve been [in the job] since 2006. I do not feel more pressure than at the 2006 World Cup, the 2010 or 2014 World Cup. Why should I?”
Low is presently focused on planning for the Nations League meeting with Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday.
Thomas Muller will start despite Bayern Munich’s poor form, while Matthias Ginter is set to hold his spot at right-back as Joshua Kimmich continues in midfield.
Low commended Netherlands’ improvement since failing to qualify for Russia 2018, but cheekily rejected comparisons between the two countries.
“I do not see any parallels, because we have always qualified for every tournament,” he said.
“Netherlands against Germany always has a touch of healthy rivalry. The Dutch have dragged themselves through their problems and have been getting good results of late.
“I think they are on a similar level.”
Germany visit world champions France, with whom they drew 0-0 in a September friendly, three days after the Netherlands clash.