Rose: “Looking forward to an intensive period”
Ahead of the home game against VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday (20:30 CEST), head coach Marco Rose spoke to the media about...
…the personnel situation: All the players have returned from international duty healthy. László Bénes is back to full training after his ankle injury and Denis Zakaria is taking limited part in squad training. Valentino Lazaro (calf injury) is training individually at the moment. Andreas Poulsen (shoulder operation) and Jordan Beyer (Coronavirus infection) continue to be unavailable.
…the opposition: We’ve taken a look at Wolfsburg and done our work analysing the opposition. We won the last game 3-0 and we’ll take positives from that. Wolfsburg have the same head coach, a similar squad and also a similar way of playing to last season. Their head coach Oliver Glasner plays 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 or even a 4-3-3. There are always a few little differences. They always play well as a team. We need to defend well like we did in the last game. That’s why it makes sense to look at the last game and bring our top performance.
…... the busy schedule: If you’re open and honest about things, you can develop. We’ll do that by analysing these games and taking things from them. But it’s obviously also important to get results, as that’s the only way to improve sustainably. We’ll train less intensively when we have a midweek fixture and we’ll work a lot with videos as well as group and individual training. But obviously we’re looking forward to this intensive period, because the boys love playing. It’s our job as staff to make sure the players stay fit and healthy.
…managing workloads: I think we’re ready for it and that we’ll be able to show our best form. But we have to bring that every game on the pitch. We also need results so we can keep confidence high in the squad. That pushes us on. But whatever the results are in the next few weeks, we’ll react to it. We need to hold our nerve and be positive, and above all stay healthy. That’s why managing workloads will be important. We need to keep it in consideration and look after people. We’re in a good position in terms of availability, but we know how quickly injuries can appear and it then becomes more difficult to rotate. The boys know what’s ahead and they know that every player will be important in this period.
…games without fans: It’s a shame that there are more and more games taking place without fans again now, but that’s how it is at the moment. More people are being tested and the infection rate is increasing from day to day. But we can’t just let it get out of hand; there are clear rules and procedures. We’ll find a way to get through it together and keep doing our jobs in the meantime. I have to say though, football won’t be the same again until all fans are allowed back into the stadium. You can see that the fans are being careful. Visiting the stadium isn’t like it used to be. We’ve all got to get it through it together and we will.
…using young players: If you have a 32-year-old and an 18-year-old of the same ability, I’d go for the player who is one for the future. That’s why, for example, I have full faith in Rocco Reitz. He’ll play in the Bundesliga this season. It hasn’t happened yet, but he’s ready for it. But at the end of the day, it’s all about performances. The best players will play.