In a press conference ahead of his first Bundesliga match as head coach of the Foals against FC Schalke 04 on Saturday night (18:30 CEST), Marco Rose spoke about...
...squad news: Jonas Hofmann (MCL tear), Christoph Kramer (ruptured ankle ligaments), Tony Jantschke (back problems), Torbel Müsel (knee), Lars Stindl and Julio Villalba (both in rehabilitation training) are all unavailable due to injury. Fabian Johnson has a slight foot injury, which is why he did not complete the full training session today, as it would have been too much stress on his injured foot. Marcus Thuram has only been training with us for three weeks. In order to manage his workload, he ended training earlier today so as to be fresh for Saturday. Tobias Strobl sat out today’s session due to slight knee issues, but will rejoin us tomorrow.
...his upcoming Bundesliga debut as head coach of the Foals: The start of the season is not about me, but rather about the team. We’re focused on the season ahead, the goals we’ve set for ourselves and the things we want to achieve. The first Bundesliga match is always something special, especially after having proven ourselves in the DFB-Pokal. Of course we’re also looking forward to playing at home in front of our amazing fans, who already came out to support us in the DFB-Pokal. Throughout my years as a professional footballer and as a coach, I’ve learned that it’s good to have a certain amount of anticipation ahead of these kinds of matches. It’s a healthy mix of nervousness, excitement, anticipation and calmness. If you’re able to find the right mix, then you’re both capable and ready for the match.
...Schalke 04: You start studying up on a team as soon as you find out who your first opponent of the season will be. You watch pre-season friendlies and analyse your opponents. We think we have a good idea of what to expect. Schalke have a new head coach in David Wagner, who has brought in a new approach. Schalke are a team that play very compact and wait for moments where they can quickly switch over and counter. They are fast down both wings, and both of their full-backs push forward as well. Their midfield is very strong. We will have to wait and see if they line up with one or two defensive midfielders. Schalke have strong players who are able to be very creative. Guido Burgstaller is also a typical penalty box striker, who works hard, gets stuck in, and can irritate a defender.
...his relationship with Schalke head coach David Wagner: We met after the Champions League final. We were both at the match and congratulated Jürgen Klopp on winning the title. At the time, we both already knew that we would meet again in the Bundesliga and that we would both make our debuts at our respective clubs. We spoke to each other, but it’s not as if we regularly call each other just to chat. But, I have a lot of respect for David.
...the physicality of the DFB-Pokal match against Sandhausen: Football is a physical sport. It’s always important to be ready to take on challenges, as was the case in Sandhausen. That’s something that we were able to do well there. However, it was still a tough game for us. A strong game is about more than just physicality – there’s also having possession and the moments where you have to react to the match itself. However, being physical and being ready to go into challenges, especially at home in front of our fans, is something that we place a lot of importance on.
...new signing Ramy Bensebaini: Ramy recently won the African Cup of Nations. Signing players who have a winning mentality is a good thing for any club. That’s something that sets Ramy apart. He is also an aggressive player with a strong left foot, and has a lot of quality. He is always ready to go into tackles and is quick. He can play as either a left-back or as a left-sided centreback. By signing him, we’ve found the player we were looking for. He had a long season in Rennes and featured in many matches. He’s just returned from a two-and-a-half week holiday, during which he already started training again. We will try to bring him into the team as quickly as possible, but it will likely take a few weeks until he’s at the level we need him to be at.
...Nico Elvedi: Nico is a key part of our team. He’s worked hard to get to where he is now. Nico always gives his best for the club, which is something you can clearly see every day. He’s still young, which is why we are trying to help him develop further. There’s untapped potential still there, which we want to harness. There’s still a ways to go yet. I hope that he will remain with the club in order to continue on this path with us.