NEWS: 28.09.2017

“We have to keep our heads up”

“We have to keep our heads up”
Head coach Dieter Hecking

In the press conference before the Bundesliga home game against Hannover 96 on Saturday (kick-off: 15:30 CEST), head coach Dieter Hecking spoke about...

...the loss in Dortmund: No one enjoys losing 6-1. We didn’t have any luck in that game, which came across in my players’ interviews. A result like that can happen every now and again, but the performance wasn't acceptable. We weren’t happy with our performance in defence at all, but we addressed that on Sunday morning and we had two days to get over the loss. Football is fast-paced – our next game is on Saturday, so have to keep our heads up. We’ve had two great days of training and the team have got the flame back which we’ll need on Saturday to beat Hannover, so we’ll have to keep that up until Saturday.

...possible changes to the squad: We need the support of the whole team and all the training staff now. The whole team isn’t made up of just the eleven players who started in Dortmund. I can’t say if that match will have consequences for the starting XI. We still have six players out injured. Kwame Yeboah and Vincenzo Grifo have been training with the team for two days now, but they’re still not 100% recovered. Jonas Hofmann and Raúl Bobadilla were injured in the Dortmund game, which I have to take into consideration. So it might be the case that the same XI in Dortmund starts against Hannover 96 to give them the chance to redeem themselves.

...Yann Sommer’s possible return: I’d be delighted if Yann Sommer could play on Saturday if his abdominal pains stop. He has our full trust, which he paid back through his fantastic performances in recent games. If Tobi is back between the sticks on Saturday, he’ll play well again because he’s an excellent goalkeeper and I’m very happy to have such a good second keeper. But we also know what Yann means to the team.

...Hannover 96: Hannover are full of confidence – their team are on a great run and haven’t lost a game all season. You can see their unity in the way they play on the pitch. Their success has made them closer as a team. They were lucky to get their first win against Mainz on the first matchday, but their win against Schalke was deserved, which of course gave them confidence. They were on the brink of losing against both Freiburg and Wolfsburg which is something they can’t hide, but they held on for draws. 12 points after six games is a very respectable feat for a promoted club.

...the forwards’ goal record: Our last five goals were all scored by our forwards. Unfortunately, we’ve also conceded eight goals. That’s a record that you have to rectify as a coach. Thorgan Hazard should have scored in Dortmund and he knows that. He was actually looking like the most dangerous forward on the pitch and it really frustrated him that he didn’t score. There’s only one option: to keep trusting him and to remember his strengths.

...Reece Oxford: Reece has taken a step forward in the last few weeks. He’s a young, talented centre back and if he gets the chance, he has to make the most of it. It's nice to see the young players chomping at the bit and making their case in training. You can see it in Michaël Cuisance too – he’s already made two appearances in the Bundesliga. Julio Villalba has made one short appearance. We didn’t plan this at the start of the season because we knew the boys needed more game time to get used to this level of football, but they haven’t been able to prove themselves in competitive matches yet.