Ballack: Germany lack dominance

BERLIN - Triple world champions Germany are no longer the feared side they once were and need to use the upcoming 2010 World Cup qualifiers to re-establish their ruthless streak, captain Michael Ballack said on Thursday.

Germany lost their last two matches at home, friendlies against England and Norway, and will take on Liechtenstein in Leipzig on Saturday and Wales in Cardiff on April 1 in qualifiers for next year's World Cup in South Africa.

"We are lacking in dominance," Ballack told kicker magazine. "And recently the results have also not been good. This has a lot to do with physical condition but also with quality.

"We are in a phase where we don't put teams under enough pressure."

The 32-year-old Chelsea midfielder, confident Germany would qualify for the World Cup, said they needed to rediscover how to beat top teams now so that by the time they got to South Africa they were ready for the unforgiving knockout stages.

"We will qualify for the World Cup and we will go past the group stage even if it gets tight," Ballack said. "But then come the matches against the big teams.

"We must now set the foundations so that at the World Cup we can win the so-called life or death matches. This is what I am trying to point out as the captain."

Germany are top of European qualifying Group Four with 10 points from four matches, four points ahead of Russia who have a game in hand.