ERASMIA - Germany striker Lukas Podolski's return to scoring form in the 4-0 win over Australia on Sunday was more a result of the national team's attacking style than his own improvement, he said on Tuesday.
Podolski had to endure months of heavy criticism after scoring just two goals for his Bundesliga club Cologne last season with the team finishing in 13th place.
Germany coach Joachim Loew's decision to pick the forward for his World Cup squad was also questioned but the 25-year-old silenced his critics with a goal in their opener.
That paved the way for the mauling Germany gave their first Group D opponents on Sunday after Podolski thundered them into the lead with his 39th goal in 74 appearances.
"We play a more aggressive game with the national team than we play at Cologne," Podolski told reporters. "At the club we are far more defensive.
"It is always like that with the national team and we have trained like that for many years."
Podolski could not have picked a better time to score, with Germany's young team earning considerable respect at the very start of the month-long tournament.
"For me scoring in this match came as no surprise. I know what I can do," he said. "Clearly, I had a difficult season at Cologne but my aim was always to have a good World Cup and until now it has worked very well."
Podolski also praised Loew for sticking with him despite the rough ride he was given all season after arriving in Cologne following a hapless three-year spell at Bayern Munich.
"Loew has been working with me for several years. We have to stick to the players who have been delivering. Everything else is just a snapshot of the moment," Podolski said.
"I have learned a lot with him and I have improved," he said, adding he hoped Loew would renew his contract as Germany coach after the World Cup.
Germany next play Serbia on Friday before facing Ghana in their last group match on June 23.comments