Head coach Dieter Hecking spoke in the press conference prior to the away game on Saturday (15:30 CEST) against Hannover 96 about…
…the personnel: Michael Lang (hip injury), Mamadou Doucouré (thigh injury) and Andreas Poulsen (ankle problem) are all out with injuries. I don’t know if we will change the starting XI or not. Christoph Kramer, Denis Zakaria and Florian Neuhaus played well in Bremen, but Lars Stindl, Jonas Hofmann and Michaël Cuisance are all available to play in the middle too.
… the end of season spurt: We have enough quality to get all the points up for grabs in the last six games. I know the BORRUSIA-PARK will go wild if we can bring our game to the matches against Leipzig, Hoffenheim and Dortmund. In our three away games, all against relegation threatened teams (Hannover, Stuttgart and Nürnberg), we need to show the right attitude. We need to show in these three games from the first second that there will be no way past us. If we can do this, we will be able to reach European football next season.
…the game in Hannover: We can’t underestimate Hannover at all. They’ve played well in their last couple of games. Although they have been missing some key players, they performed well against Schalke and Wolfsburg. I want my team to play with the same fight and spirit that they showed last week against Werder. We did a lot of things right. However, we have to take our chances better in order to get the three points in Hannover.
… the new system: We played in a 4-3-3 system for a long time, because I was convinced it was the best way forward for us and it worked well for a long time too. However, before the Bremen game, I decided to install a new system. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that 3-5-2 will be the formation that is used every game from now. It may be that we play in a 4-3-3 in Hannover.
… Lars Stindl’s current role in the team: Lars has always played for me when he has been fit. Of course it wasn’t easy to tell him that he wasn’t starting against Bremen. However, he hasn’t been as good as usual recently and so I wanted to try something new. He has accepted it because he is an absolute professional and team player but of course he was still annoyed about the decision. In training though, you don’t see any effect on him as he handles it very professionally. It’s a good thing because at the end of the day, it is not about individuals or me, it’s about the team’s success.