Ahead of Friday's evening home game (KO 20:30 CET) vs. SC Freiburg, coach Dieter Hecking spoke in the press conference about...
...team news: Due to their injuries, we'll still be without Ibrahima Traoré, Josip Drmic and Mamadou Doucouré. On top of that, Jordan Beyer (ankle) and Matthias Ginter (thigh) are also sidelined. If we were playing on Sunday, Ginter could have perhaps made it. He has been back training with the team, but it makes little sense to let him play tomorrow. On Saturday, he will be able to take part in the majority of match practice training. Jogi Löw must decide whether he will be called up to the German national team next week.
...the win against Mainz: After winning games, we haven't always seen everything positively, and after losing games, seen everything negatively. Nevertheless, the relief after our win in Mainz was tangible. When you only get one point from four games, you just need to get a positive result again. We delivered this result in Mainz. Our off the ball and disciplinary work was fairly good, and our play when we had the ball was adequate. We've done it considerably better in the past, and must get back to that standard as the end of the season draws closer to increase the probability of us having further success.
...the current attacking performance: Our attackers know that they've got to play distinctly better and offer more of a threat on goal. That goes for the whole team. It's not about an individual winning the ball, dancing past three players and sticking the ball in the corner of the net. That's clearly possible, but it's rather about our attacking play being more in tune as a team - that's required of everyone, not only our attack.
… the upcoming home game: I don’t usually let myself be influenced by things in the past, so I’m not worried about the previous three home defeats. We want to win on Friday evening and that’s all there is to it. Our task is to break down an opponent that has a clear style. In any way we can. Ideally we want to play great football, like in the past four months.
… Friday’s opponents: It’s not for nothing that they have 30 points. Freiburg are a team that make the most of their chances. Christian Streich deserves credit for that – his team show the passion and mentality that he embodies every weekend. They also have a lot of individual quality in Nils Petersen, Janik Haberer and Vincenzo Grifo, who can make the difference.
… the competition between Christoph Kramer and Tobias Strobl: I have a problem for the number six position because there are justifications to use either of them in that position. Chris Kramer played very well against Frankfurt and was also one of our best players against Wolfsburg. Tobi Strobl plays the position in a different role. He isn’t as busy and holds his position more. He has a great passing game. I need to decide which player fits out style for Friday.
… the condition of Raffael: Raffa is someone who can always be named in the starting XI. Above all because he has trained with the team for the past two weeks and has found his rhythm again. With Raffa I always know what I’m getting when I bring him on. He is always an option that I can rely on.
… Alassane Plea’s form: He is working on himself and is doing everything he can to get out of that spell. For me, he played a better game the last time out. He was involved a lot and held the ball well. Of course, I hope that he can get back into the position to be able to make the most of his ability again. That is required of the whole team. Sometimes it is only the little things that don’t quite click. Everyone is hoping that Alassane can find his form again.