Coach Dieter Hecking spoke in a press conference ahead of the game on Sunday against Eintracht Frankfurt (15:30 CET), focussing on…
…the squad situation: We will have to do without injured players Raffael (fractured collarbone), Doucouré (ruptured thigh), Keanan Bennetts (thigh strain) and Jonas Hofmann (bruised ankle with skin irritation). We’ve done well so far this season to continue playing our game even with a few players not 100 per cent fit. Jonas can run, but with everything that you exercise while playing football, he’s still hurting from the knock. He said himself that the risk is too big since another knock could increase the severity of the injury. I’m under the impression that he will be fit again for the game against Wolfsburg.
…Ibrahima Traoré’s injury: Ibo has had problems for the last few weeks and months. We had actually hoped to postpone the operation until the end of the season, but the doctors informed us yesterday that it’s necessary to do it now. Ibo also said that he isn’t 100 per cent and when he was involved in one or two of the training sessions he could feel pain. It’s not a massive intervention – if the recovery progresses normally then he should return to training by the international break at the latest.
… the sporting situation: We are in the process of learning. We’ve performed well so far and sit at third in the table after 21 matchdays. It’s a big difficulty to maintain expectations that we have built through our previous performances and to always top ourselves and work at the highest level. However, that’s what a top side has to do: week-in, week-out, give 100 per cent and get the basics right. That is a continual process and not something that should change after the Berlin game.
…the Berlin game: Maybe we wanted too much, that’s normal. The team realised during the game that something was wrong and then tried everything to put it right. Maybe they didn’t use the right methods to do so, perhaps being a bit too impatient and losing their structure in the game. That should not happen too often but you can’t rule out that it will never happen again in the future. It’s something completely different for us to be near the top of the table for the first time in two years. You have to learn how to handle yourself when you’re up there. The most important thing is that we are completely focused on our performances and not just concerned with numbers and results. We have to carry on with this attitude until the end of the season in 13 matchdays and then we’ll see on matchday 34 where we end up.
…the impression of Frankfurt in Donetsk: In the past few days it’s become pretty common that I fall asleep in front of the TV. Yesterday I watched 90 minutes – that says something about the game. It was a really good European game, especially for the stage it was at in the competition. You have to give credit to Donetsk, who had a numerical disadvantage for the best part of 80 minutes. For roughly 20-25 minutes of the second half you couldn’t really notice the advantage Frankfurt had since Donetsk played so well. Despite that you could see Frankfurt’s quality, their self-belief and an understanding in how to approach Donetsk. It was a real show of quality from Eintracht.