Hofmann: "We have to bring our self confidence onto the pitch"
Speaking in an interview about his return after testing positive for Coronavirus, midfielder Jonas Hofmann discusses the league table and the upcoming game against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Jonas, two and a half weeks after the positive coronavirus infection and quarantine, you’re back training with the team. How does it feel?
Hofmann: I didn't get bored in quarantine, but I'm glad to be back in team training. I'm hoping that I can be an option again on Saturday.
How did you experience the two weeks? How did you get through the quarantine?
Hofmann: In normal everyday life, you avoid things that you don't feel like doing, so I started doing those things instead. For example, I organised some of my tax documents. However, I of course also watched Netflix, read a lot, and played games online with a few friends.
So the virus hasn't weakened you enough to affect the possibility of you playing again this weekend?
Hofmann: The medical examinations showed that I didn't suffer any consequences after infection, and luckily everything physically should be the same as before. Therefore, I'm hoping that I'll be in shape for Saturday's game against Eintracht Frankfurt.
With six matchdays to go, you are four points behind sixth place. What do you make of your position in the fight for the Europa League?
Hofmann: There are still 18 points to play for and the best-case scenario sees us picking up all of them. I think we have a good chance of qualifying. Of course, it's clear that in Dortmund and Leverkusen there are two teams ahead of us that have a lot of quality and have a good squad. It's going to be a challenge for us, but I think coming off the back of two wins and the draw, we've built up confidence and momentum that we'll take into the remaining matches.
It's possible that the seventh-placed team in the table will play in the new Conference League. How much would playing in that competition appeal to you?
Hofmann: If you finish the season in seventh place, you probably qualify for it. It is an opportunity you can use to win a trophy. Even if the competition is looked at in a negative light by many, it offers some clubs the opportunity to get a taste of European football. Of course, you won't be coming up against the very best and biggest teams in this competition - which is what we all want here at Borussia, of course. But we're not in a position to decide whether this competition exists or not. We will take on the challenges that we come up against.
On Saturday, Eintracht Frankfurt visit BORUSSIA-PARK. Eintracht are currently in fourth place and are nearing a place in the UEFA Champions League. What is it makes them so strong right now?
Hofmann: Frankfurt are currently picking up a lot of points. They often approach games with a particular result in mind and are consistent in the way they play. Their formation lends to them performing consistently well and they have beaten the big teams such as Dortmund recently. Therefore, we are cautious and are aware of their strengths. When two strong, offensive teams meet - as we saw in their meeting with Wolfsburg last week - you can end up with a lot of goals flying in. That's the kind of game I'm expecting on Saturday.
Nevertheless, you want to continue the three-game unbeaten run. What do you need on Saturday to be able to do that?
Hofmann: We have to take the momentum from the past few games, but also bring the confidence in our own strengths onto the pitch and be consistent. That's very important. Against an opponent like Frankfurt, you also have to play for the result. I think we'll have to be stable defensively against a team that's so dangerous when it comes to scoring goals. It will be a big ask, but I think we're well prepared for the game when you look at the past three weeks.