In an interview with goalkeeper Yann Sommer after the 2-0 loss in the final game of the season against BVB, the Borussia keeper discussed finishing in fifth place, the Europa League and the departure of coach Dieter Hecking.
Yann, due to the 2-0 loss against Borussia Dortmund, you missed out on a Champions League place. You finished in fifth place instead. What do you make of this season?
Sommer: I’m very happy. After a difficult Rückrunde with highs and lows, we managed to qualify for the Europa League. We’re really happy with that. After what happened in the Rückrunde, to achieve qualification to a European competition cannot be taken for granted. Of course, we wanted the chance to play in the Champions League next season. But it was always clear to us from the start that it would be difficult. That’s why we’re still happy with fifth place.
Is the joy about the Europa League the same as it would have been had you got a Champions League spot?
Sommer: Obviously. Europe is Europe. The Champions league is naturally a step above but we set our target for the season to be in a European competition and we managed that. The Europa League is an interesting and exciting competition. There will be a lot of great games against strong teams. We’re really looking forward to it.
How hard was it for you as a team to always regroup and rebuild after each defeat in the Rückrunde?
Sommer: It was not easy for us. Straight after the impressive Hinrunde there was a sense of expectation and pressure. It was difficult for our young team to get through it, especially after the first few defeats in that bad run. You have to compliment the team on how they never gave up, always came back and eventually got fifth place.
Was the ball from Marco Reus, which proved to set up the opening goal, possibly already out of play? How did you see the situation?
Sommer: I didn’t see whether the ball was in or out or not and my first thought was that the referee had a good view. I think that in reality it didn’t play that big a role, considering we didn’t score any goals ourselves. We had two good chances to go in front near the start but we weren’t able to use them. In the second half, we then had no more chances and Dortmund were the better team. They thoroughly deserved to win.
The full-time whistle marked the end of Dieter Hecking and Dirk Bremser's work with Gladbach. How emotional was that for the team?
Sommer: It was obviously a very emotional situation since we’re all so close to Dieter Hecking. We’ve been through so much together and have so many memories. Dieter Hecking was a great coach and Dirk Bremser also did a great job. We wish them all the best for the future and are only taking positives from our time together.