Oscar Wendt spoke to us about the cup victory in Sandhausen, the upcoming Bundesliga opener against Schalke and the fitness regime of the evergreen Swede.
Oscar, the cup victory in Sandhausen was something of a dress rehearsal for the start of the league season. Is the anticipation for the Schalke game still building?
Wendt: No one knows where they really stand until the season finally kicks off. The victory in Sandhausen was all the more important because it gave us confidence. Although it didn’t quite go as planned, we were ready for the fight and eventually made it through with a clean sheet. But we are also aware that we need to continue the hard work to live up to better implement the coach’s gameplan. Nevertheless, everyone is feeling great and we can’t wait for the Bundesliga opener against Schalke on Saturday evening.
Starting the new season with a home game…
Wendt: …is simply fantastic! If it were up to us, we’d start every season with a home game (laughs). The fact that it’s an evening game, and against a top club like Schalke, makes the occasion even more special. I’m sure the atmosphere in the BORUSSIA-PARK will be electrifying.
After finishing last season in 14th place, Schalke want to start a new chapter, with a completely different set of staff. What type of game are you expecting?
Wendt: I’m sure that Schalke will be just as fired up for this game as us. What happened last season is completely irrelevant. Everyone starts from scratch and everyone has to prove themselves. Those who were here last season want to perform even better than before. And the new players also need to show what they can do. There’s going to be a lot of competition. However, it’s important that we don’t pay Schalke too much respect, and that we bring the game to them by playing football the way we want to. If we manage to do this, there is a great chance that we will come out victorious.
On a personal note, you are now entering your ninth Bundesliga season with Borussia…
Wendt: That’s crazy, how time flies! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. And the older you get, the quicker it seems to go.
People in Gladbach have been describing you as the ‘evergreen Swede’. Do you do anything differently to look after your body today than you did five or six years ago?
Wendt: It’s true that, nowadays, you need make sure that you are constantly doing stuff to keep yourself in shape, not just when you’re in training or within the club grounds. Even during my everyday family life, I have been keeping an eye on what I eat for a long time, and have been making sure that I rest well and get enough sleep.