Following the first session back from the Christmas break, Dieter Hecking spoke to the press about…
… the personnel situation: We hope that the odd extra player will be back with us as soon as possible. That would help add more quality and consistency in our game. Jonas Hofmann will be the first back. Christoph Kramer will join up with the squad in the next few days. We still need to wait and see with Fabian Johnson. Raul Bobadilla still has some problems with his pubic bone and will certainly be out for some time. Ibrahima Traoré, László Bénes and Tobias Strobl will of course not immediately be available, so we won’t have the full squad at our disposal. Nevertheless we have shown that we can deliver strong performances even without those who are injured.
… preparations in Mönchengladbach: The time before the season starts again is limited. We have conditions here that mean no snow or ice and with that being the case, we will be able to prepare well at BORUSSIA-PARK for the second half of the season. Had we gone to a training camp, we would have lost another one or two days through travelling and we didn’t want to do that.
… the team’s aim before the season starts again: We need to make sure that our physical condition gets back up to 100% and focus on the key things, namely the first match in Cologne. We want to get back to the Bundesliga with a good start. We actually only have this week to lay the foundations for the rest of the season because we will be spending most of next week preparing for the match in Cologne. We will work intensely during this week and we then have a friendly against Mainz 05 on Sunday.
… the position in the table heading into the break: We know what we need to do. We are in and amongst seven or eight teams, who can all hope to finish high up in the table at the end of the season. These teams are all at about the same level. Borussia Dortmund may step it up another gear because they are possibly slightly better than the other teams there in terms of their individual quality. We want to finish better than we did last season. As far as that is concerned, we are on the right track. We now have to think about the small details. You cannot allow yourselves to give the ball away easily too many times. We need to be more consistent in certain situations. That goes for the defence, but also when we go forward. Moreover it will come down to the players all being at a decent level, being ready and once again being willing to take that extra step to pick up those last few points.
… Reece Oxford: We were aware from day one that West Ham would have the option to call him back during the winter break and they have now done that. The ball is now in their court. Reece has clearly stated that he would like to carry on playing his football in Mönchengladbach. I personally also believe that this would be the best thing for his development. But at the moment it looks like he is going to spend the next six months at West Ham. As far as I have been informed, there will be crucial talks with the club again today. Then we will receive clarity on the matter tonight. Tomorrow I will then sit down with Max Eberl to discuss the situation.
… activities in the transfer market: I am ruling us out from being majorly active in the transfer market over the winter break. We have a squad which is well set-up in terms of the quality and number of players. We may give the odd player from the youth team a chance to prove himself more often. We will continue to pursue that route consistently.