Rose: “We have to keep up the momentum”
In the digital pre-match press conference ahead of the upcoming home game against Hertha BSC on Saturday (15:30 CET), head coach Marco Rose and sporting director Max Eberl faced the media.
Head coach Marco Rose on…
…squad news: All of the boys have returned from Madrid without any injuries as far as we can tell, but there’s a level of fatigue in the squad of course. Tony Jantschke completed the final training session today and will be back for tomorrow. Ramy Bensebaini has not yet been cleared for training by the doctor, which means that he will miss a few more days. Rocco Reitz was supposed to play for the U23s but has had a problem with his pelvis, and so is receiving treatment for that. Jonas Hofmann is still unavailable due to a torn muscle.
…reaching the last 16 of the Champions League: It’s a big success for the club and we’re all delighted about it but unfortunately, we don't have the time to sit back and enjoy our success. What’s important is that we don’t lose any of our focus. We came back from Madrid and have had a couple of days of recovery, worked on a few things in training, and we feel prepared for the Hertha game. We want to keep the momentum from qualifying for the round of 16 going, but we’ve also been analysing what we did wrong against Real. We’re in a key phase in the Bundesliga season and we don’t want to lose any of our form there.
…the upcoming opponents: It’s clear that Hertha are developing. The club has invested a lot into its team. Bruno Labbadia has said that it’s a process and things seem to be steadily coming together. Hertha have a squad with a lot of quality, good physicality and strong footballers. It will be a challenge but it’s one we’re ready to take on. We want to take steps forward despite everything going on right now. It’s important that we show up in Berlin and give a good account of ourselves.
…the last game: We’re always self-critical about our past performances. Even though we did a lot of things well, it's important that we address things that didn't work as well as they could have done, especially after reaching the round of 16 in the Champions League. Normally you can defend against conceding goals because you can tell how the attacks will develop, and then you have the chance to win the ball back in the opponent’s half, in wide positions or in your own box if it gets to that. However, sometimes you're simply not in the right position and the opponent has too much quality. For example, Madrid had that quality and punished us. We didn't defend well with the two goals that we conceded, but the boys know that and we'll learn from it. We’re always looking to improve.
...László Bénes: Laci always trains and works hard. He is ready, but we simply have a lot of quality in his position. Christof Kramer has started the season well and Florian Neuhaus has developed brilliantly. Denis Zakaria Is also back now and we're gradually phasing him into the team. That said, I'm very happy with the way that Laci is training and his performances off the bench. I know that he wants more time on the pitch but we have to think about the team as a whole. We'll try to integrate him into the first team over the next few weeks. But he's an important player for us and we definitely need him with us in the squad.
...the Champions League draw for the round of 16: We are Borussia Mönchengladbach and we’ve achieved a great thing by getting to the last 16. We know what to expect and we're looking forward to it. We'll do our best to prepare for the challenges ahead. We’re not hoping for any opponent in particular. All of the teams left in the tournament are great clubs with long histories and strong players. We'll take it as it comes.
Sporting director Max Eberl on...
…upcoming opponents Hertha, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hoffenheim: In the Bundesliga we have picked up points regularly so far. We want to pick up even more points with the right performances between now and Christmas. Our aim is now to get points in the next match against Hertha, and then come the tasks in Frankfurt and against Hoffenheim. I like to use the image of a small village when looking at our development. The big powers like Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig have more opportunities than we do, whether that is down to history, good work or different resources. Hoffenheim and Frankfurt have done a good job, just like us. They move in similar circles to us and regularly play in Europe. We have to be careful that these clubs who are also doing good work do not overtake us in the table.
...the possibility of another strict lockdown: It’s bad news for all of society that the politicians are imposing such drastic measures just before Christmas. The virus doesn’t rest, though. The pandemic’s current development isn’t good, and people’s health comes first, so we have to wait and see what comes of it. So far we haven’t been told how football will be effected. I think that the concepts that we have developed within football have done really well. They have shown that it is possible for football to continue under coronavirus rules.