Rose: "We need to be on the ball"
Ahead of Saturday night’s Bundesliga clash with SC Freiburg, Marco Rose and Max Eberl spoke to the press about the season run-in, the players’ busy schedule and their next opponents.
Head coach Marco Rose on…
… the significance of Saturday’s game: One look at the table shows you how important this game is. Freiburg are just ahead of us and we would like to overtake them. It will be a challenge for us – Freiburg are a tough team to play against. It’s an important game for us and we want three points. We need to be on the ball this Saturday.
… the last few weeks: It’s been a difficult run for the club in terms of results. We managed to squeeze a win in against Schalke just before the international break. That was really important for us. That’s what we were working hard for and concentrating on. We repeatedly pointed out during this time that things were running exactly the same as always internally. Everything was in order internally. But football is a results industry and they weren’t right. Obviously that will lead to turbulence. Now we need to try and get back into positions in the table that we want to be in. We’re working really hard to try and achieve that. We’re kicking off the next few weeks with a difficult game. Our next task is to beat SC Freiburg.
… the Bundesliga win against Schalke: The win against Schalke did us a world of good, it was extremely important for us. I think this was the first time that you could tell we were starved of good results in the weeks prior. You could sense how important it was and how much the players wanted to win again. We were playing under a lot of pressure, but the lads dominated and played really well. We worked hard, defended well and had a lot of goalscoring opportunities of our own again. I think the players know and can sense that we are heading into the business end of the season and we need to try and get the best out of it in order to finish in an acceptable position in the table.
… preparations for the Freiburg game: We only had ten players here during the international break, so it didn’t make sense to arrange a friendly, not least because of the high volume of games that preceded the break. The lads who stayed here worked really hard. We had some intense training sessions. We worked on a lot of group tactics. We also had some players like Joe Scally, Rocco Reitz and Jordan Beyer playing for the U23s to give them some match practice. We will definitely be able to field a powerful team on Saturday.
… aims for the remainder of the season: We’ve made our aims clear from the start. They’re very ambitious and we’re a bit behind schedule at the moment, so to speak. The fewer games that remain, the more important our mentality becomes. You start to think more and more about what you have to gain or lose. So things can still change in the table. The final stage of the season is when you have to be on the ball. You need to pick up the points required to achieve your goals.
… the busy schedule’s burden on the players: The players who were on international duty are back at BORUSSIA-PARK today because they need to do a coronavirus test and recuperate. We are somewhat concerned with the burden of the busy schedule on the players. For many, the international fixtures come on top of that. I do think the lads can cope with it, but we’re still happy that everyone has come through it unharmed and healthy. As far as team selection on Saturday goes, we will have to see how everyone is during Friday’s session.
… Matthias Ginter: I think there are a lot of good centre-backs in Germany. It’s no different here at Borussia. Matze is one of them – no doubt. That’s why he’s being selected. He’s an important player for us – he gives us a lot both on and off the ball. He’s a starting XI regular for us and for Germany. That says it all. Still, Matze is only human and he’s played a lot of games this season.
...Jonas Hofmann: I'm in contact regularly with Jonas. He has slight coronavirus symptoms, but overall he's doing well. He's able to train at home and is using these as far as what's possible and what's allowed.
Sporting director Max Eberl on…
...recent weeks: It hasn’t been an easy time for us of late. Of course we want to achieve the utmost success possible on the pitch. We want to give our supporters, fans and employees strong results to celebrate. We weren’t picking up points and it wasn’t an easy situation. However, for me the important thing is how you deal with that as a group. We had some good discussions, which focused more on being rational than emotional. That helped us to better understand each other. Now, it’s about looking at what’s next. We want to take the chance that we still have to qualify for Europe, together for this club. The fans and the club have always said that the club comes above anything else. We will now try our best to end the season as successfully as possible.
...scouting for a new head coach: You don’t just take two, three weeks to observe a candidate for the position of head coach. You’re trying to gain an impression of someone over a long period of time. You’re watching training sessions and games. Of course you can’t be in the dressing room and don’t hear what the coach tells the players, but you can hear a lot of what’s being said on the pitch. You’re able to get a good insight into how a coach presents themselves and how they coach. There’s a lot of transparency today. You can get information from former players or from other acquaintances, albeit without knowing if everything is running smoothly with the club. The purpose of scouting is to find out whether a coach will be a good fit for the club.
...SCF head coach Christian Streich: Christian is a unique figure in German football. He’s a great coach and a great person. I’ve spoken with him several times before, and we always have good discussions. I think that Christian would fit in well as a coach at other clubs, not just in Freiburg. However, he’s put down roots in Freiburg, feels at home there and is doing an incredible job with the club.
...discussions with the DFB: Of course we’re in talks with the DFB when it comes to our internationals. We discussed with them earlier this season that Matze wouldn’t play one game due to the heavy workload. Of course, the association will always want to put forward the best team possible. However, we are in contact with them about workload management.
...Andreas Poulsen: We loaned Andreas to Vienna last season, and he was able to find his way back into a groove there. We loaned him there a second time this winter, and are very pleased with his development. As things stand, he will return to Borussia this summer and will have the chance to prove himself under a new coach.
...on Xabi Alonso: You don’t have to waste words when talking about Xabi Alonso’s playing career. He was one of the great players in recent memory, and had a lot of success. He’s the coach of the San Sebastian reserves. We had a discussion purely about football, and got to know each other. I wasn’t able to offer him as much as he could offer me. But, it was still a very interesting and exciting talk.