In an interview, Florian Neuhaus talks about the upcoming match against Fortuna Düsseldorf, his greatest strength and why he extended his contract at Borussia until 2024.
Florian, how did the team react to the news of last week’s derby against 1. FC Köln being postponed?
Neuhaus: The match being called off was very annoying for us. We had prepared well for it and were all looking forward to the Rhine Derby. To find out the game was cancelled the morning of was very hard to take. But we’re professionals so we accepted it and completed a solid training session instead.
Is it a disadvantage to now have played one game less than the rest of the league, and to potentially also be three points behind?
Neuhaus: No. Depending on how our competition plays, then I think it’s more of a psychological advantage because we know that we have a game in hand and thus still have the chance to take three further points.
Fortuna have a new head coach in Uwe Rösler. What kind of game are you expecting from them?
Neuhaus: Düsseldorf now have a new philosophy and press somewhat higher than they did under Friedhelm Funkel. However, in the end we want to play our game regardless of what our opponents are doing. We showed what that looks like against Leipzig. We played a strong first half there, which is what we want to build on against Düsseldorf. We want to be courageous and go on the offensive.
This will be your second time returning to your former employers...
Neuhaus: Returning there will once again be something special for me. I’m still in touch with some of the lads, such as Jean Zimmer, Andre Hoffmann or Niko Geißelmann, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again. I’ve also not forgotten how much I enjoyed my time at Fortuna. Now, however, I’m at Borussia Mönchengladbach and the only thing that matters to me is winning in Düsseldorf.
Your stunning finish against Mainz had your name on everyone’s lips recently. How important was it for you to score such an incredible goal?
Neuhaus: That goal was very important for me and gave me a lot of self-confidence. Of course, I now want to build on moments like that.
Regardless if it’s that goal or your assist in Leipzig, it’s clear that you saw the chance and made the decision to take it in a matter of seconds. Is your greatest strength the fact that you don’t waste any time making decisions?
Neuhaus: I think that sums it up well. In football, it’s important that you know what you’re going to do with the ball before you even have it. In both those situations, it worked out perfectly. I’m now hoping that I’ll be able to bring that strength to the pitch as much as possible over the next few weeks.
You’ve recorded two goals and two assists this season so far. Are you happy with that tally?
Neuhaus: I see myself as a player that shouldn’t just be judged based on the number of goals I’ve been involved in, because I’m also able to help out my team in several other ways that might not be as obvious. Of course, I’m well aware that goals and assists are important for an attacker. Naturally, I will also try to add a few more over the remainder of the season.
You recently extended your contract until 2024. What prompted you to do so?
Neuhaus: For me, Borussia are a massive club with plenty of tradition, great fans and excellent facilities. The environment here is a good fit as well; you’re able to focus on your work and continue to develop. At the same time, I had very productive discussions with both Max Eberl and Steffen Korell, as well as with the coaching staff. Taken as a whole, it all means that I feel very at home here. As a result, extending my contract was the only thing that made sense to me.