Florian Neuhaus previews Gladbach’s upcoming game vs. Hertha Berlin, and talks about the club’s advancement in recent months, as well as his first ever away goal.
Florian, it’s all rosy when things are going well. You can sometimes slip up, but the ball can end up in your opponent’s net nonetheless…
Neuhaus: Yes, it can (laughs). I’m really happy that the ball finally found its way into the back of the net in the Schalke game. In the end, it doesn’t matter how I scored. The main thing is that it went in.
After your first Bundesliga goal, which came at home against Stuttgart in the first half of the season, you’ve now bagged a goal on the road. Is this now becoming routine for you?
Neuhaus: Definitely not. Scoring in the Bundesliga is always special. And when you do it against Schalke, in such incredible surroundings, then it’s very special.
Despite that, you haven’t been given so much of a chance in 2019 as you got in the first half of the season. What’s the reason for that?
Neuhaus: We now have an incredible squad, and we have a lot of depth. Every player is trying to be selected and will take their chance when they get it. The coach has the final say on what he thinks is best for the team.
Are you disappointed with this decision, or does it make you even more determined?
Neuhaus: I’m always very laid-back, actually. All I can do is put in maximum effort during training and then, when I’m picked, show the coach what I’m capable of, whether I play the full 90 minutes, or just 15-20. It’s my job to put in good performances, and people expect me to do that. If I do that, the rest follows.
‘Good performances’ is the key word here: It’s worth noting that you haven’t really had a bad game up until this point. Where has this maturity come from?
Neuhaus: That’s a good question (laughs). I think it’s down to the crazy amount of fun I have playing in this squad. So when the team does well, playing attractive and winning football, then you benefit as an individual too.
Would you say that the team has advanced throughout the course of the current season?
Neuhaus: Definitely! I’m convinced that we’ve improved as individuals and we can switch up our play a lot better as well. Like I’ve previously said, it’s a great joy to play football here. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have the potential to keep on improving – the sky’s the limit.
Where do you see this improvement happening?
Neuhaus: After the first half of the season, we said that we needed to play better and win away more from home. We’ve done that so far in 2019, and of course, we want to keep it up.
Do you think the quality that you showed in your 61-pass team goal from the weekend could result in you becoming a bit complacent?
Neuhaus: No. First things first, both our goals came after Schalke’s red card. But we also had to work hard when they had eleven men on the field to try and create good chances to score. That’s something we’ve got to work on. Then we can be more clinical and create clearer chances, especially if our opponents sit ridiculously deep and have their whole team behind the ball, like Augsburg did when we played them.
Are Hertha the ideal opponents to implement that against? Borussia have won all of their games at home this season, while Hertha haven’t won in Mönchengladbach for ten and a half years.
Neuhaus: It’s all down to us. We’ve got to put in a performance similar to what we’ve shown in the last few weeks. If we do that, then there’s a good chance we’ll win this game as well. If we don’t turn up, however, then Hertha are always capable of causing us problems and perhaps even winning themselves.
When you lost 4-2 to Hertha in the first half of the season, the victors were more superior than the scoreline suggests. What makes them so dangerous as a team?
Neuhaus: Hertha have a lot of good individual players, especially up front. It’s mental how much experience Vedad Ibisevic and Salamon Kalou have, while Davie Selke has been a regular starter recently and Marko Grujic is putting in strong performances. Ondrej Duda already has nine goals this season as well. We’re wary of them.