Head coach Dieter Hecking spoke in a press conference ahead of the home game on Sunday (15:30 CET) against Fortuna Düsseldorf, focusing on…
…the fitness of Alassane Plea and Raffael: Plea will definitely be back for the game in Bremen. Against Düsseldorf, however, there are still a few doubts. He trained individually yesterday. Now we have to wait until the game and see if he’s okay to play. Raffael is fit again. We didn’t want to take any chances in the game against Leverkusen because of what was at stake. Subbing him on at 3-0 wouldn’t have really made any sense. He trained in full yesterday, looked really good and will therefore definitely be in the squad for Sunday. Michaël Cuisance, however, will unfortunately be unable to play due to a bruised metatarsal.
…the analysis of the DFB-Pokal game: We have to look at the match and appreciate the complexity of the game. Until the 68th minute, we were well-organised but had conceded two soft goals. When you are playing against a strong team and are already 2-0 down it’s extremely difficult to come back. At the start of the second half we had a very strong phase of the game. If we had succeeded in getting a goal, the match would have had a very different complexion. Unfortunately for us we didn’t get one. When they went 3-0 up they pulled the plug on the match. The last 20 minutes are not a reflection of our current form and I made that clear to the team.
…the closing moments of the game against Leverkusen: My team should always have the feeling that they can make a difference. In this game they would have thought after going 3-0 down that they couldn’t turn the score around. Instead of pushing forward, they should have tried to build some defensive stability with which to build from, thus giving us the opportunity to score goals and make a comeback. Through these things you realize that the team is still in the process of developing. The positive thing is that they never stop trying and are always willing to go forward. However, against a team like Bayer Leverkusen, it was the completely the wrong means with which to win the match.
…the likely repercussions of the cup exit: When you lose 5-0 at home it obviously has an effect on you initially. Whoever says otherwise is lying. I believe that we are stable enough that we can shake off the result by Sunday. My team knows that they have done a lot of things right in recent weeks and I am convinced that they will want to show the other side of us on Sunday.
…the upcoming opponents: Due to recent results, Fortuna are feeling the pressure that they wouldn’t have wanted so early in the season. As a promoted side, they obviously wanted to continue the euphoria from the end of last season and that is the Düsselfdorf that we saw in the first four games. They defeated Hoffenheim and got points in Leipzig and Stuttgart. They showed that they can reach the level required for the Bundesliga. Their last few games haven’t been as good. They lost 7-1 in Frankfurt and 3-0 against Wolfsburg. Drawing any conclusions from these results, however, would be fatal. We know that Fortuna are very up for this game. They will do everything in their ability to make our lives as hard as possible. In the first four games, they showed that they can cause difficulties for their opposition with quick counter-attacking football. We will be no exception.