Nico Elvedi speaks about the season opener against Schalke, the next game against Mainz and his goal tally.
Nico, Borussia go to Mainz on Saturday. You must have good memories from the fixture last season?
Elvedi: You’re right (laughs). I managed to get the goal when we beat them 1-0 last year. To be honest though, I hardly think about it, even now as this weekend approaches. So many games have been played since then – that goal is in the past now. We can’t dwell on the past anymore, it's got to be about getting the first win of the season now. If I were to grab another goal though, I certainly wouldn’t complain.
Over the course of last season, you managed to grab two goals. Have you set a goal target for the coming season or do you only concentrate on not conceding goals as a defender?
Elvedi: Of course, the main thing for me is to let in as few goals as possible. Nonetheless, I have indeed set myself the goal of scoring more often this season so a target of three goals in this campaign isn’t overly ambitious. We get plenty of corners each game as well, so, as a decent header of the ball, that gives me a few extra chances to score.
You drew 0-0 with Schalke in the opening game last weekend. How do you rate the team’s performance?
Elvedi: I think that we can be happy with our performance because we were able to implement our coach’s tactics, such as pressing and winning the ball high up the pitch. The only downside was that we wanted three points and not just the one.
What must the team do better?
Elvedi: I think we can improve in all aspects of our game, and that includes pressing high and winning the ball back. I think we have to be even more incisive in front of goal as well.
How difficult is it for a team with so many different characters to adapt to a new playing style?
Elvedi: I think that’s something that every player handles differently. But you can see that with every training session and each game that follows that the new system is becoming more and more like second nature to us. That's why I'm convinced that it won’t be too long before we can fully implement the coach’s playing style.
From a more personal standpoint, you put in a strong performance against Schalke. Are you back to the top form you showed for long stretches of last season?
Elvedi: It's true that my main target is to get back to where I was last season and I hope that I came close to that against Schalke. I feel great out on the pitch, especially when I play with ‘Matze’ Ginter at centre back. We’ve really got a great partnership going.
You had also set yourself the target of becoming a leader and being louder on the pitch...
Elvedi: I don’t know if I'm really that much louder today than I was three or even six months ago (laughs). In any case, I definitely still want to become a better leader and I’m working on it all the time, whether that’s during a game or ‘just’ in training.