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Reus snub 'unbelievably difficult' - Howedes

Leaving Marco Reus out of Euro 2016 was an "unbelievably difficult decision" for him and the squad, according to Germany defender Benedikt Howedes.

The Borussia Dortmund forward, who turned 27 on Tuesday, was left out of Joachim Low's final 23-man squad due to injury concerns.

Reus was also forced to sit out Germany's victorious campaign at the World Cup due to injury, and Howedes acknowledged the latest news was tough for everyone concerned.

"He's obviously really disappointed," said the Schalke defender. "Things like that hurt a lot. It is an unbelievably difficult decision for him and also for us as his team-mates. However, I hope that Marco can turn his emotions into a positive energy."

Fellow youngsters Julian Weigl and Joshua Kimmich were included in Low's squad, along with rising Schalke star Leroy Sane, and Howedes is excited to see what his team-mate can produce in France.

"Everyone knows the qualities Leroy has," he said. "He has pace to burn and can always do something special."

Germany suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat to Slovakia in a rain-soaked friendly in Augsburg on Sunday, but Howedes insisted their confidence has not been shaken by the defeat.

"We are in good shape and looking forward to a good 90-minute test against Hungary after the water-polo match against Slovakia," he said. "I am convinced that we can improve and move forwards.

"The meaning of the friendly result - it was a good test in which we were made aware of things that we can improve on. The Slovakia match was a dampener but we are not unsettled by the result. We are still full of confidence."