The team’s progress, the imminent international break and dealing with unfortunate injury problems – all that and more from our chat with Christoph Kramer:
Christoph, how did the team take the first defeat of the season?
Christoph Kramer:All in all, a 1-0 win in Sandhausen where we didn’t play very well does feel better than a 3-1 defeat against Leipzig, despite us having put in our best performance of the season so far.
Does it make a defeat more painful when you as a team actually play well, or is it more painful if you, for example, had no chances whatsoever?
Kramer: I think everyone copes with that slightly differently. Some players look solely at the result, others place more importance on the performance. As for me, I look more at our performance. If we played well, as we did especially in the first half against Leipzig, then it’s easier to accept defeat and shrug it off quickly, than it would be after a poor performance.
Has the international break come at a good time or is it getting in the way?
Kramer:The break will do us a lot of good before our midweek games start piling up. Not least because we’ve got several players injured who now have more time to recover. I‘ve also only just recovered from an injury and now I have the chance to get back to 100 percent.
For you personally, the start of the season has been quite disappointing due to your ligament tear...
Kramer:I always take things as they come – not just in football. You can’t change anything. What good would it do to feel sorry for yourself or start to curse your bad luck. I always try to make the best of every situation.
That’s a very rational and beneficial approach, but is it easy to maintain after already being ruled out with an injury last season?
Kramer: Obviously the rehab-programme and all that kerfuffle aren’t the times of my life. And obviously it’s annoying that I got injured just when it was all about cementing your place in the team for the season ahead. Despite this, I’m the kind of person who can take things on the chin and move on, so that I don’t have to deal with these injuries for too long.
What goals have you set yourself for this season?
Kramer:I prefer to take things one day at a time, rather than make long-term plans. In my opinion it doesn’t make sense to look so far into the future and set yourself ambitious targets. You can never predict what might happen as soon as tomorrow. My ligament injury is an example. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be giving my best every single day. This approach has served me well so far.
What have you made of your team’s progress on the pitch?
Kramer:It’s difficult to express in numbers and percentages, but fundamentally, the coach has convinced us of the new philosophy and we have taken it on board well. That’s the most important thing in order to be successful. I think you can already see very clearly what our intentions are.
The weekend after next is the derby with 1. FC Köln, who managed to get their first win on Saturday. What have you made of Köln so far?
Kramer:I think they’ve been playing really well, even when they lost to Dortmund. They understand the importance of sometimes pressing high and sometimes dropping off a bit. They are aggressive and play good football. It’s looking good for them already.