Zakaria: “It was a proper fight that went our way”
Denis Zakaria scored the winner in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund. After the game the Swiss international spoke about...
At the virtual press conference ahead of the Bundesliga away game against FC Augsburg, head coach Marco Rose and sporting director Max Eberl discussed team news, the upcoming opposition and the contract extensions of Tobias Sippel and Nico Elvedi.
Head coach Marco Rose on:
… team news: Christoph Kramer (capsular ligament injury) will not be available for the game in Augsburg. Ramy Bensebaini's availability will depends on the result of his medical examination. Julio Villalba and Torben Müsel are out.
... the upcoming opponent: FC Augsburg's goal is to stay in the Bundesliga and are currently doing quite well in that regard. But, like us, they've had phases this season where things have been going a lot better and have picked up results gainst good sides. For example, they were very brave against Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. However, they are in a spell without much positivity at the moment. Therefore, I'm expecting to face a team tomorrow that will fight for its chance and want to win at all costs. It's going to be a challenge, but we want to finally get three points again tomorrow to get back to feeling that good feeling ourselves.
... the current situation: We continue to work in the same way as far as dealing with each other is concerned, we question things, we are critical among each other, we work things out and still have a trusting relationship with each other. But of course we have a feeling of the current situation. We're not getting positive results at the moment, and that means unrest and dissatisfaction. We have to work on that. Every negative result has of course had an impact on us. But we've picked ourselves up each time and gone into the next game, and that's how it is ahead of tomorrow's game against Augsburg. Now it's a matter of getting back on track and to winning ways in the Bundesliga.
... the lack of goals in attack: I don't think any striker has been able to find their stride, but Lars Stindl, for example, has already scored 13 goals this season and also contributed a few assists. There is more in the other players too; we have a lot of room for improvement and we're working on it. We worked on goalscoring yesterday, and that was also focused on being more dynamic in attack and and having more presence in the opposition box. You have to work hard to earn your luck in games and with scoring, and if it doesn't work out, you have to step up and work harder. The boys have to be aware of that, and I'm holding them to that.
... defending set pieces: We've won the second ball very often at set pieces. In the DFB-Pokal against Dortmund, however, we gave the ball away again too quickly. The first and second balls are always the concern when it comes to high balls. We have clear instructions there in terms of protecting the space in front of our goal. But it's important that we're more alert and clear when it comes to that.
... the past training week: We've worked well this week. During the week, we really got a proper handle on things. No one is stopping the guys from enjoying their football. The confidence in the players has to be there, because we have the quality and have also proven it. However, you're always dependent on results. Especially in phases when you are playing a lot and training a little. That means you have to find your conviction and security through games and positive results. This week was good for us. However at the end of the day, it's all about the guys bringing that onto the pitch in Augsburg. Just enjoying the game is not enough. We have to be resilient and take on the intensity.
... Borussia loanee László Bénes: "Laci got injured at the beginning of the summer break, and then it's not easy to get back into a team that's doing well. With Florian Neuhaus, Denis Zakaria and Christoph Kramer, he has a lot of competition in his position. He needed a few months to get his match fitness back and then came to us with the desire to gain match practice and join FC Augsburg. We then decided that it was important for his development that he gets match practice. I believe that the time in Augsburg will do him good and that he will then make a fresh start here at Borussia.
Sporting director Max Eberl on:
... Nico Elvedi and Tobias Sippel's contract extensions: "We have extended Tobias Sippel's contract by two years and Nico Elvedi's by three years. These two contract extensions are very important for us because they meet the objectives of our framework. We are very happy that we were able to tie down two players to Borussia for the future. Nico is an important facet for us, but also the extension of Tobias is very important for me because he brings consistency in the team, in the dressing room and in the cup games when he is needed. He is very good for the team. These two extensions show that the players trust the club.
... the development of Nico Elvedi: We signed Nico from FC Zurich in 2015. At the time, it was a transfer with a lot of potential ad perspective for the future, but one we were totally sure of. We can certainly say that Nico's development has been on the rise consistently. He's only 24 years old, but for me he's still one of the most stable central defenders in Germany. The way he has developed is remarkable. Today, we have to say that his transfer in 2015 has paid off and will continue to do so. We are very happy that he is staying and will continue to develop with us.
... László Bénes' loan deal: If a player decides that he wants to go on loan to another club, he should be allowed to take part in all their games, if possible. I don't think it's right if he's then not allowed to play against certain clubs.
... Mamadou Doucouré: He has experienced a lot of setbacks for a young player. He has now returned to team training and we're hoping that he remains mentally and physically stable and will be available again in the summer. However, I can't guarantee that we can definitely rely on him.
... the Champions League second leg against Manchester City in Budapest: It was Manchester City, not us, who decided that Budapest was the right venue for the second leg. We can't change the fact that the quarantine regulations for travellers arriving to North Rhine-Westphalia from England have changed. We have to deal with that. The fact that we now have to pay a seven-figure sum hurts us financially, but that's the way UEFA has ruled it.
... the open letter to the fans: The letter was my own concern. I've been sporting director here for twelve years now and have experienced many highs with the fans, and also some lows. In this situation, I felt the need to address the fans directly and go public. Of course you get both types of response, but it was important to me that I let my feelings be known for once. I hope and feel that I have reached the fans, even if I couldn't turn everything around.