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Give me more time to decide, Klinsmann says

Written by: Staff

BERLIN, July 7 (Reuters) Juergen Klinsmann today acknowledged a growing nationwide campaign urging him to stay as Germany coach and then said he still needed more time to decide.

''I'd rather be getting these compliments for the job we've done than put up with a debate about where I live but at the end of the day I'll make a decision together with my family,'' he told a news conference when asked about his future.

Klinsmann was referring to the praise showered on his team for their run to the World Cup semi-finals, where they lost 2-0 in extra time to Italy, following two years of criticism that he had faced for his decision to commute from California.

''My situation depends on my family issues it has nothing to do with any authority I have or don't have (in the German Football Federation),'' added Klinsmann.

''I just have to clear this up with my family. The team is there and could carry on the way its going now.

Klinsmann is preparing his squad for tomorrow's third-place match against Portugal in the former striker's home city of Stuttgart, which could be his final game in charge since his two-year contract expires after the World Cup.

All 23 Germany players, 93 per cent of the German public, according to a Forza research institute poll on Wednesday, and even his sharpest critics have all said they want Klinsmann to continue as coach after his team exceeded expectations.

MORE PLEASANT Even those critics who belittled his new-fangled training methods, reliance on U.S. fitness trainers and a Swiss scout, use of a team psychologist and attacking-style tactics have urged Klinsmann to sign a new contract.

''It's always more pleasant when things are going well than to be getting stick,'' Klinsmann, 41, said of the huge majority telling the pollsters they want him to stay on.

''I see it as a compliment rather than any pressure building on me,'' he added, referring to the ''Klinsmann-muss-bleiben'' (Klinsmann must stay) campaign building in the German media.

He did not say exactly when he would make up his mind but hinted that it would be relatively soon. Germany have a friendly against Sweden on Aug. 16 before their European qualifying campaign starts in September.

German Football Federation (DFB) co-president Theo Zwanziger, who has also urged Klinsmann to stay, said a decision has to be made before the match with the Swedes.

''As I've said before, I'd like to take a few more days' and discuss with my family how we'll go forward,'' Klinsmann said.

''I've received signals that everyone (in the DFB) understands that.'' He dismissed reports he had received a lucrative offer to coach the United States and added that he had no interest in one day coaching another national team such as England or Italy -- countries where he spent his prime years as a player.


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