Borussia win last pre-season friendly 2-1 against Groningen
The Foals recorded a 2-1 win in their final friendly of pre-season against Dutch top-flight side FC Groningen.
Marco Rose spoke during a virtual press conference ahead of Saturday’s game away at Union Berlin (15:30 CET). Here’s what the head coach had to say about…
...the personnel: Alassane Plea has come through training well so far. We’ve slowly been integrating Rocco Reitz and Joe Scally into training this week. Valentino Lazaro was on the pitch at the start of yesterday’s session, and is currently transitioning from rehabilitation back into training.
...the upcoming opponents: Union Berlin are a side that runs incredibly hard and usually cover over 125 kilometres against the top teams. They’ve undergone a tremendous development. Last season they already defended well and were very compact, which is something that hasn’t changed. It’s hard to get past their back line and to create chances. Additionally, they’re playing well this year - they have a lot of courage in their game and are well positioned. That makes our job harder.
...the game plan in Berlin: At the beginning of a game, it’s all about sending a message. It will be important that we don’t have to defend a counterattack straight away. Union’s intense style of play means that they eventually tire themselves out a bit, but they have a strong bench this season and can bring on reinforcements. That’s how they scored the late winner against Leverkusen recently. We will need to play with intensity and passion for the full 90 minutes. We need to find solutions on the pitch, but also pick the simplest solution at times. Finally, we need to have faith in our game and approach it the same way we do every game.
...the current state of the table: We’ve taken 13 points this year so far, while other teams have stumbled a bit. Bayern are also picking up points at the moment and are playing the way we’re used to seeing them play. However, we’ve seen this season that it’s possible to cause Bayern problems. I think they will always be challenging for the title, but the race hasn’t been decided just yet. We will do everything we can to do our job and to keep the title race as exciting as possible.
...the high number of set-piece goals: We are a team that has been scoring a lot of set-piece goals lately. That’s mainly down to our assistant coach Alexander Zickler, because he puts a lot of thought into preparing our team for set pieces and communicates that to the guys. We’ve been very successful in this regard this season. If you don’t concede a lot of set pieces, but are scoring from a lot of dead balls, then there’s not a lot you need to change.
...Christoph Kramer’s development: It’s not a coincidence that Chris has played over 2,000 minutes across all competitions this season. I think that he’s reached another level this season and that the start of the Champions League gave him that extra push. He’s proven why he featured in the World Cup final and why he was then able to lift the trophy. Especially during the game against Inter, I noticed how hard he was working: he covered nearly 13 kilometres, created space, supported his teammates and gave our game some tempo.
...Jonas Hofmann’s role: Jonas has started each of the last three games and you could see that he was a bit more tired at the end of the last match than he was after the previous two. He’s received a lot of praise lately, and he needs to take advantage of that confidence boost. He also needs to consistently prove himself each and every week. He needs to try to remain focused and motivated. We’re helping him with that.
…Jordan Beyer and László Bénes: Jordan played well for 60 minutes with the U23s against Dortmund. Laci knows that he’s close to where he needs to be, but also knows that Christoph Kramer, Florian Neuhaus and Denis Zakaria are also in good form. However, we still value him as a player and he’s seen some game time over the last weeks. Of course he’d like to play more, but we have a strong squad and nearly everyone is healthy at the moment. The guys just need to keep working.