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...
Head coach Marco Rose and sporting director Max Eberl spoke to the media ahead of the penultimate Bundesliga matchday on Saturday (15:30 CEST) against VfB Stuttgart.
Head coach Marco Rose on…
…the personnel situation: We have 21 outfield players and three goalkeepers in the quarantine training camp, and they are all fit. Only Mamadou Doucouré (operation following Achilles injury), Julio Villalba and Torben Müsel (both building match fitness) are still out.
…the match plan against Stuttgart: We want to show a different performance against VfB to the one we had in Munich. We want to put things right. The main topic the last few days and weeks has been consistency. We need to show that in our performance and games – and we want to show this in the last two games starting tomorrow.
…the number of goals conceded: We have conceded too many goals this season and rarely defended consistently well. You always need the attitude and focus of wanting to defend your own goal – we haven’t managed that in several phases. We have also been too passive after taking leads. We switched into a more reactive mode and hoped we would win the games. Now we have two games ahead of us in which we hope to do better. We have worked on defensive stability and patterns of play this week. It’s important that we transfer that to the pitch.
…his last home game as Borussia head coach: The most important thing, first and foremost, is the game tomorrow, because there’s a lot at stake. But of course, you think about it being your last home game with Borussia and everything we have experienced together. In the quarantine training camp, we also have time to talk about things now. Unfortunately, in the last two years I have only experienced the most important part – the fans in the stadium – in a small dose.
…his time at Borussia: My time here at Borussia isn’t over yet, but I think we have already enjoyed some wonderful moments together. Sometimes it was just a small thing, like Mamadou Doucouré’s first competitive appearance. There have been a lot of human aspects in the last couple of years, but of course also some sporting success too. We won both home games against Bayern München and had some great games in the Europa League and Champions League. But as I said, the season isn’t over yet. We have a big task ahead of us that we want to fulfil. I’m not thinking about goodbyes yet. I’ll do that on the way home from Bremen.
Sporting director Max Eberl on…
…the upcoming opponents: Stuttgart weren’t your typical relegated side, so it was only logical that they would be straight back up. When I started as sporting director at Borussia, VfB were among the top five teams in the Bundesliga. Stuttgart are well managed and, in Thomas Hitzlsperger, they also have quality at a board level. VfB will be another competitor of ours for European spots in the future.
…saying farewell to players: Since we can’t have fans in the stadium, farewells will be done privately with the rest of the team once again. We already announced that Oscar Wendt is returning to Sweden. In addition, we won’t be extending with Julio Villalba and Max Grün. We still need to have talks with Ibrahima Traoré.
…Marco Rose’s time at the club: I hope and believe that we will qualify for the Conference League. Then we will have had two seasons with Marco Rose and his coaching staff in which we have qualified for Europe. That would be two good years with Marco. Then he will take his next steps and we as a club will move on. Marco has done a great job with this team so we will part on good terms, and for me that is only normal.
…potential contract extensions: Firstly, we are happy that all our players have a contract with us. That’s a prerequisite. I have said many times that discussions with players are ongoing, but there is no point in time when we will say that now is when a decision must be made. Denis Zakaria and Matthias Ginter both have contracts expiring in 2022. We will take our time and pick the right moment to discuss with them how we move forward. The transfer market this summer will take its time to pick up. When we know our final table position and what that means for us financially, we will be able to make strategic decisions regarding squad planning.
…the upcoming transfer window: I think the Premier League is the league that will dictate the transfer window this summer because it’s the strongest and most stable league financially. Many clubs will want and need to sell players – the Premier League plays a decisive factor there. For that reason, it could be that some of our players are on the list of some Premier League clubs. Fundamentally, we don’t want to sell anyone.
…Mamadou Doucouré’s injury: Mamadou still has a long-term contract with us, but even so we would never abandon him as a club. He is doing well considering the circumstances. The operation went well, but of course he is disappointed and sad that he has suffered yet another injury. That hurts him and us. He is a great player, but he hasn’t been able to show that for us yet over a longer period. We will support and help him to get back on two feet.