After the 2-1 away win at Bayer Leverkusen, head coach Marco Rose spoke about...
...the squad situation: At the moment, it’s really about finding 11 fit players.László Bénes had the flu ahead of the Leverkusen game so he couldn’t start. Jordan Beyer had a cold, and we decided that there was no point in Denis Zakaria playing from the start – he was too tired and needed a break. But the nice thing is that we have a large pool of players that we have 100% trust in. The boys make it easy for me because they take on the challenges so well.
...the performance in Leverkusen: I got the impression that the boys were up for playing against Leverkusen again. Of course, good results also helped a lot and gave them self-confidence. Even in the defeat in Dortmund, the boys noticed that our game worked for the most part, and has still been working. So it’s not always about results, but also about the way we play. In this context, it’s important for me that we ran over 120 kilometres per game for four games in a row, and we made over 200 sprints per game. In the first five or six games we ran maybe 115 kilometres and made about 150 sprints. Now we are running regularly at a high level, so we have to stay consistent.
...the tactical setup in Leverkusen: I think we played a very decent game. We started again with a 3-4-1-2, but then we noticed that we conceded because of a classic problem that comes with playing five at the back. We had too many players in a line, so there was a high risk that someone would beat the offside trap. After that, we played with a midfield diamond out of possession and near the end we played with a 5-4-1 to generate width and depth to hold on to our lead. That was also a lesson we maybe learned from Dortmund. We didn’t want to be forced to sit back and defend, but against Leverkusen we were forced to because there wasn’t another way to contain their pressure.
...playing every three days: We can sit and moan, we can say we’re tired, or we can say that what we do works and that we bounce back well. We will not always play every three days. Four games with only three days between each - that’s something I haven’t even experienced working at Salzburg, and it’s difficult with football. That’s likely why there will be a game at some point where the tiredness will show, but today it didn’t. But there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be playing our style of football every game. It’s what we train for and we have people in our backroom staff who make sure we can recover well.
...the coming days: We had an extremely stressful period, but we did well and put in good performances that delivered good results. Now we have a five-day break. On Monday, the boys are free, then we look forward to two more games before the international break: a very important Europa League game and a home game against Werder Bremen.
...his role as a coach: As a head coach in the Bundesliga you always need results. I know what the expectations of me were: here comes a guy from Austria, who worked at Salzburg, let’s see how he does in the Bundesliga. If results don’t come fast then there’s a lot of pressure. But I believe it is already clear that there is a certain plan behind how we play football. We are being rewarded with results right now, and that means we all believe in the plan at this early stage. That helps a coach, of course.