Belfast, September 10: Germany head coach Joachim Low was relieved to claim a 2-0 win over a "very difficult" Northern Ireland in Euro 2020 qualifying at Windsor Park.
The 2014 World Cup winners were made to work hard for the three points in Monday's Group C qualifier, with second-half goals from Marcel Halstenberg and Serge Gnabry proving the difference.
Conor Washington missed good opportunities for Northern Ireland as the hosts caused real difficulty against a Germany defence containing the relatively inexperienced Halstenberg and Lukas Klostermann.
Low was impressed with Northern Ireland's performance and was happy to see the way his players adapted their performance to nullify the threat.
"It was a very difficult 90 minutes against a Northern Ireland team that played very attacking football," he told a news conference.
"In the first half, it was very difficult for us because we were pressed very hard. We improved in the second half but it was a very difficult game and we're pleased to have won the match.
"It's a team that hasn't played together and they must learn to play themselves into form and get to know each other's style. We'll be looking at each stage of our game as we move forward.
"They tried to break up our play and they found gaps, especially in the first half. After half-time, Northern Ireland played with more tempo and speed but we responded. In the first half, we gave them too much room. They're strong in the air and we have to adjust our game to this style of play.
"I think we have good potential for the future and it's about working with this team to bring them through."
Julian Brandt saw improvement on Germany's 4-2 loss to Netherlands last Friday but also accepted there is room for improvement.
"We have some problems to explore," said the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.
"We played better than on Friday, but not everything was perfect going forward, especially with that final pass. That improved in the second half and we could have scored a couple more.
"Some things can be improved – being more clinical is one of those."
Germany are level with Northern Ireland on 12 points at the top of Group C, three points above Netherlands, who have a game in hand.
Low's Germany face Estonia in their next qualifier in October.