In a press conference ahead of the final away game of the season against FC Nürnberg on Saturday (15:30 CEST), head coach Dieter Hecking spoke about…
…the squad: Lars Stindl (tibial fracture), Raffael, Fabian Johnson (both calf strains), Patrick Herrmann (thigh strain), and Mamadou Doucouré (muscle tear in the thigh) will all definitely not feature against Nürnberg. In Tony Jantschke’s case, we will have to wait and see. As of now, he will be able to train tomorrow and is available for Saturday’s match.
… the situation ahead of the final two games of the season: You have to have a goal in mind if you want to achieve it. If you don’t aim high enough, then you won’t achieve anything big. For that reason, we should continue to aim to move up in the standings. We still have a chance to finish in a Champions League spot. We need to do everything we can in order to pick up six points. It depends on the teams ahead of us whether or not that will be enough in order for us to finish fourth—it’s out of our control.
…the recent game against Hoffenheim: We weren’t happy with the first 70 minutes of the match against Hoffenheim. However, I think that the team was able to finish strong in the final phase of the game. For the first time in weeks, you could see people smiling in the change room. The team are aware of the situation we find ourselves in. They are not happy with how the last few weeks have gone, because they know that we could have achieved more this season and that we could have achieved our goals sooner. But, we’re still in the running for a place in Europe, something that our performance in the remaining two matches should reflect.
…the formation: In the last 20 minutes against Hoffenheim, the team recognized that they need to be the ones to dictate the play. That will once again be our approach this Saturday. If we sit back and let Nürnberg play, then we will make things difficult for ourselves. We need to direct the game and show our opponents that we want to win right from the start.
…the upcoming opponents: Nürnberg will only give up when there is nothing mathematically within reach anymore. As a result, they will try their hardest to succeed in their last chance at staying up. The match is sold out and they will give it their all. We need to prepare ourselves for that.
…Jordan Beyer, Ibrahima Traoré and Josip Drmic: All three of them played well against Hoffenheim and really helped out the team after being subbed on. I’ve always said that we will need the entire squad in order to accomplish our goals over the season. It’s possible that Ibo, Jordan, and Josip felt a bit freer after being subbed on, compared to their teammates who had been chasing after the ball for a while. After changing our formation, those three—together with the rest of the team—succeeded in turning the game in our favour. That was a positive for us.