Ahead of the game against FC Schalke 04 on Saturday evening (18:30 CET), head coach Dieter Hecking spoke to the press about…
…the upcoming opponent: It isn’t a surprise for me that Schalke are so high up in the table. They are an experienced team who have a clear structure in the way they set out. They are very stable and don’t allow the opposition to have many goalscoring chances. They have the quality to cause problems in attack, whether it’s from the wings or from set-pieces. They are perhaps a bit more of a developed side than we are in terms of the way they play together and that is another reason why they are above us in the table.
…the approach for his team: Before I concern myself about how we are going to approach the game I have to see first who can actually play. There are unfortunately question marks over a lot of the squad. It would be really helpful to know who is available for Saturday. We still don’t know who is fit and who isn’t so that makes the task that much harder.
…the team news: I’m not usually the type of person to moan about the injuries within the squad. But this time it is hard not to. We’ve got a lot of injuries at the moment and there are question marks surrounding a lot of the squad. Thorgan Hazard missed training this morning and we’re hoping that Christoph Kramer will be fit for Saturday. But we don’t know for sure. Tony Jantschke (concussion) and Fabian Johnson (back problem) won’t be available. And Mamadou Doucouré (torn hamstring) picked up another injury in training on Wednesday. So all of those problems mean we’re running a bit thin at the moment.
…Mamadou Doucouré’s injury: The only positive is that it’s not the same hamstring that he has injured. It’s all stable but we had hoped that he would get back to playing again without any more setbacks. We tried to slowly bed him back in but sadly he's suffered another torn hamstring. It is such a shame because he was looking good to come back. We unfortunately have to deal with another setback now. It is really tragic for him, he is devastated. We can only comfort him and now we’ll have to see how it goes.