Germany coach Joachim Loew said on Thursday he expects the next few months to be "incredibly hard" after their World Cup triumph in Brazil last July.
"For me, it is perfectly clear: the months leading up to the end of the year will be incredibly hard," Loew told Kicker magazine.
"We have players who are tired, affected physically and who haven't recovered emotionally after the World Cup," continued the 54-year-old.
Loew was assistant coach to Jurgen Klinsmann at the 2006 World Cup, where the team reached the semi-finals, before taking over the head coaching role.
"First of all, we have to take a step back, solidify ourselves and try to find the players who are in the best physical condition and are not battling against injuries.
"The really difficult matches will be in October against Poland and Ireland," he added in reference to upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.
There are plenty of positives for Loew and his newly crowned global champions after they edged Argentina 1-0 in the final for their first World Cup victory since 1990.
They also won the World Cup in 1954 and 1974 when playing as West Germany.
"Naturally, after such a long road, affected by criticism and bad moments, it is a great satisfaction and joy to see that we have achieved this ultimate goal and become champions," continued Loew who had special praise for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
"With our goalkeeper, we have an 11th player on the pitch and I believe that Manuel Neuer has imposed a revolution in world football.
"He does not only intervene outside the penalty box in urgent situations, but more importantly he is the first player at the back to begin the play and control the others. It is the future of football." concluded Loew.