“We didn’t get going” - Bayern match reaction
We gathered the reaction from Oscar Wendt and the two head coaches after Borussia’s 6-0 defeat to FC Bayern on Saturday evening.
We sat down with sporting director Max Eberl to discuss the end-of-season run-in, Borussia’s chances of qualifying for Europe and next weekend’s meeting with FC Bayern Munich.
Max, it’s looking very likely that Borussia will finish in the top half of the Bundesliga table for a tenth consecutive season. Bayern and Dortmund are the only other clubs to have managed that. What does that say about Gladbach?
Eberl: I have often said in the past that our aim is to establish ourselves as a top-half club in the Bundesliga. We’ve managed to do it nine times in a row and now we have the chance to make it ten. It says a lot about our development and the quality we have that we’re the only club to have done that apart from Bayern and Dortmund. On the other hand, I realise that for many finishing in the top half isn’t enough. Nevertheless, there is no denying that it is a sign of consistency.
After a weekend off, we’re onto the home straight in the Bundesliga now. How do you view Borussia’s position ahead of the final three matchdays?
Eberl: We’re still very much in the fight for Europe and want to have the best ending to the season that we can. We were enjoying a good season until around mid-February, then we had a phase in the Bundesliga where we went a number of weeks without picking up many points. That poor run cost us a better position for this final run-in. However, we still sit seventh with three games to go and so qualifying for the Conference League is in our own hands. Of course, we want more than that though. We will try to pick up as many points as possible in the final three matches and perhaps it will be enough to qualify for the Europa League.
You mention the Conference League, and now it’s confirmed that seventh guarantees a place in the Conference League play-offs. How desirable would it be to participate in this newly formed competition?
Eberl: Playing in Europe is always a big aim for Borussia Mönchengladbach and is certainly always a huge success, regardless of whether that’s in the Champions, Europa or Conference League. Qualifying for Europe means that you’ve had a very good season. The Conference League is still something of an unknown. It has been created by UEFA primarily to give clubs from smaller nations the chance of playing in Europe. Nevertheless, there will still be a number of notable clubs involved, so it would certainly be attractive for us to be involved.
How important would qualifying for Europe be in terms of keeping key players at the club?
Eberl: It would be a good thing for the club in general to qualify for Europe for the seventh time in the last ten years. I don’t know if it will necessarily be a huge factor in contract talks with players, but I’m sure it will make them that little bit easier.
What do you think the transfer market will be like in the summer?
Eberl: Every club was hit hard by the pandemic last spring, but a whole year has passed since then. We’ve had an entire season under these new conditions and the majority things have been consolidated somewhat. However, clubs have still have to deal with major revenue losses, not to mention the fact that the new TV contract for the Bundesliga clubs offers €200 million less revenue than the previous deal. Those are two aspects that every club has to overcome and calculate for, which ultimately means that they will have to essentially cash up at the end of the season and see where they stand. Therefore, I think that the transfer market will take a little while to get going and a lot of clubs will react to deals as they happen. I can also picture there being more loan deals than usual.
To reduce the risk of infection, starting today, Borussia players and staff are only allowedto travel between the stadium and their homes. They will then enter a ‘quarantine training camp’ from 12th May where they will overnight here at BORUSSIA-PARK. What do you think of this measure by the DFL?
Eberl: We had been getting through the Bundesliga season quite well, then two weeks ago, Hertha became the first club to be completely quarantined. In order to avoid another scenario like that and to be assured that we can see out the season in a fair way, I think this quarantine measure is the logical and correct decision. There aren’t any more chances to catch up games at a later date because of the EUROs, so it makes sense to isolate the teams to reduce any risk of infection.
This Saturday, Borussia travel to Munich to face FC Bayern, who could be crowned champions with a win. Does that make the already tough task even more difficult?
Eberl: Away games in Munich are never easy, but we have been worthy opponents for Bayern in recent years and have often caused them problems. The goal is to do the same this weekend. We’re heading to Munich aiming to get a result, and we need one to keep up in the battle for Europe. The fact that Bayern could be crowned champions doesn’t play a big role for me. We have to focus on our own performance.
What can Borussia take from the 3-2 win in the reverse fixture after having trailed 2-0?
Eberl: We went 2-0 down quite quickly in that game but still managed to come back and win. We defended really well in the second half in particular. However, every game is different, so there’s not necessarily a lesson to be learnt from that match looking ahead to this weekend. One thing is clear though, and that is that we will definitely need a top performance if we hope to have a chance against Bayern.