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Hütter: “We need to find the right balance”

Head coach Adi Hütter and sporting director Max Eberl spoke to the press on Wednesday, ahead of the start of the second half of the 2021/22 Bundesliga season and a Friday night trip to FC Bayern München (20:30 CET). We have collected the most important bits here.

Adi Hütter on...

... the state of the squad: We’ve trained intensely in the last few days, and as a result, Jordan Beyer, Christoph Kramer and Lars Stindl have done some recovery work today. There have also been no further Covid cases to report – we already have four in the form of Denis Zakaria, Joe Scally, Mamadou Doucouré and Keanan Bennetts. Ramy Bensebaini is at the Africa Cup of Nations. Jonas Hofmann is currently the only player out injured and is already on his way back. Tony Jantschke is training well once again and is back to diving into headers following his facial injury.

... a possible postponement of the game: We’re preparing as we normally would for a game. Bayern have some players out, but so do we. At the end of the day, the DFL will make the decision.

... the current sporting situation: This is an important game to kick off the Rückrunde – we’ve seen the league table, and it’s not a comfortable situation to be in. We have faith in our squad and now have the chance to start the climb back up. We need to improve the physical side of our game, especially our intensity. It’s not always about the distance the team runs, but also about the intensity they run at. We also have to start defending our penalty area better.

... upcoming opponents FC Bayern München: Yes, they may have some names missing, but they are still a team of immense quality. They don’t have many attackers out, but they will definitely still be able to field a solid back four and midfield with the players they have, even if it might not be the exact same in terms of quality. They still have Lewandowski, Müller and Gnabry, and they all have more than enough quality to decide a game on their own.

... lessons learned from this season’s two games against Bayern: We can take the courageous way we played in those two games with us into this one. We can’t just sit back, because Bayern have so many players who’ve got the quality to be dangerous in the box. We need to find the right balance. When we lose the ball, we need to show our physicality and defend it well, and when we have it, we need to be brave and look to play the ball forward. There is also no point in sitting back and waiting for them to mistakes – we need to find our own way through them.

... last Saturday’s friendly: We’ve made the decision to replace Saturday training after the Bayern game with a friendly. I thought it’ll be a good thing, especially for one or two players who haven’t had a game in a while to get match practice. The squad will get filled out by some of the U23s, and we’ll play with that squad against Viktoria Köln.

... his first six months in charge of the Foals: Of course, we’ve had a tough six months. We’ve had some lengthy injury absences and some unlucky moments which hurt us all. One positive is that we’ve been able to develop great young players like Manu Koné, Joe Scally, Luca Netz and Jordan Beyer. That’s what we do here. I’m not happy with how it’s gone so far, but despite everything there are still some rays of sun shining through. I’m optimistic that we can put on the performances we’re all looking for in the Rückrunde.

Max Eberl on...

... a possible postponement: I think Bayern would like the game to be called off, but it’s the DFL’s decision. We have no influence on their decision, so that’s not what we should be discussing here. We’re preparing for the game like we normally do and are expecting it to be played on Friday evening.

... the effect the most recent DFB-Pokal game will have on Friday’s match: Our 5-0 win in the DFB-Pokal hurt Bayern and they will definitely have that in the backs of their minds. They’ll want revenge. Despite the players they’ve got missing they have an enormous amount of quality, and will definitely have the wherewithal to show they’re the better team. They will go about the game trying to prove that.

... summer departures, such as Matthias Ginter and Denis Zakaria: I feel that in general, our players know what they’ll get from us as a club. There is definitely a mutual understanding on that level. That also goes for Denis and Matthias, who have already made the decision to want to leave the club in summer. That’s football. We wanted and needed some clarity as soon as possible due to our sporting situation. It’s what we need to go into the Rückrunde with clear heads, focussing our energy solely on Borussia Mönchengladbach.

... the financial situation: We’re once again going to be playing behind closed doors, which means reduced income once again. As an addition to all the problems caused by Corona, our TV contract has also changed. That alone has meant we’re getting 18 million Euros less in TV money than before. That’s a massive cut. We here at Borussia are independent, we do things off our own backs. Now we need to find a way through this situation off our own backs. Nobody will just pop up to us and gift us money. That’s something we say to players in contract negotiations too. There are players who can understand that, even if the effects of it here are perhaps not as severe as at other clubs. Every club has their own strategy at the end of the day, and we’re going to stick to our strong and stable way of doing things, avoiding any recklessness that could endanger the club. Borussia should still be at the top level, five, ten or even 20 years down the line, in terms of the opportunities the club has.

... the current transfer market: If the market keeps moving as it is doing now, with more and more clubs finding creative ways of improving their financial situations, and we keep doing our thing on our own path, it might well be that European football becomes a pipe dream and we end up playing a different role in the Bundesliga. Nobody can currently say which direction the market is moving now. In the last few years we’ve been able to pull off some extraordinary feats with the opportunities available to us. There was always that nagging thought in the back of the mind that something like what is happening this season could happen, though. We’ll defend ourselves against this for now, and then as a club we will have to have a think about how to deal with this new financial competitiveness in the future.


Head coach Adi Hütter
Sporting director Max Eberl

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