Before the game against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, Dieter Hecking gives his thoughts on...
...Tony Jantschke's chances of playing: Tony has been training with the squad for ten days already, so I don’t see any issues with him being in the squad to face Frankfurt. Contrary to what was previously said, he was actually suffering from a small hamstring tear, which meant his recovery needed a little bit more time. He’s back to full fitness now though, so he’ll definitely come into consideration for the squad this weekend.
...this weekend's opponents: Frankfurt have made a few changes to their squad and are now set up a little differently. When it comes to their play style though, that hasn’t really changed all that much. In that way, this game isn’t really any more complicated to plan for in comparison to other Bundesliga games. The game that we lost in the cup last season against them makes no difference any more, as those two teams were two very different teams to the ones that will meet this weekend.
...the takeaways from the Augsburg game: We played one very good half - that shouldn’t be forgotten. The second half though, that was a different story. Augsburg played really well and kicked up a gear, but from our perspective, we can’t allow our opponents to put that much pressure on us. At the end of the day though, we earned an important point away from home. If we get back to winning ways against Frankfurt on Saturday, then everything will be okay.
...Kolo leaving the club: Things never really turned out the way that both the player and the club thought they would. Kolo was injured, and by the time he returned I had already found a partnership I was comfortable with in central defence. As both Jannik and Andreas were playing well, it never made sense to make a change for change’s sake. It’s the fate of a third choice central defender - they get much less game time. If either Jannik or Andreas had picked up a knock, then perhaps Kolo would have had a few more games to prove himself. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and so we allowed him to seek a move. We wish Kolo all the best with his new club in Mexico.
...The World Cup hopes for the foals: At the moment nine players have realistic chances to qualify for the finals. If that were to happen, that would be a great achievement for Borussia as a club, and we would be very proud of it. It’s really exciting that we have two Germany internationals in the form of Matthias Ginter and Lars Stindl. If they both perform well for their club this season, then they have every chance to be selected for the World Cup squad. You shouldn’t rule out Christoph Kramer’s chances either, because he’s in great form. Germany have a lot of good players at their disposal in his position, but you never know what might happen in the next few months.
...Josep Drmic’s status: Josip’s progress over the last few weeks has been extraordinary. We are in constant communication in order to work out what extent he can take part in training. He’s already been doing things like individual shooting and sprinting tasks. He’s on the right track, but he still hasn’t participated in any drills with other players. We will try that with him soon, so that we can work out whether his knee can deal with that kind of stress. I’m fairly confident that Josip will be able to rejoin training in the near future. We all wish him the best in his continuing recovery, and that he can return to the squad soon without any more operations.