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Bornemann: "Clear opportunity to lay down a big marker as a group"

Midweek press conferences are usually the domain of the players, but this week it was the turn of director of sport Andreas Bornemann to take time out to answer questions from the media before training on Tuesday afternoon.

Andreas Bornemann on...

...the club's ability to field a team on Saturday: "Our aim isn't to look for solutions that mean we don't have to play, quite deliberately so. We obviously want to put a team out at Schalke on Saturday that is as good and as competitive as possible."

...the possible suspension of training: "Our initial reaction in view of all the Covid cases was to cancel the training session that was planned for Saturday, but we were clear from the outset that we would try everything we could to put a team out at Gelsenkirchen. That means finding ways of getting the team or the players who are still able to play into training. We decided that the players would get changed at home, travel in on their own and then go home on their own and shower without being together in the dressing room, in the kitchen or anywhere else. That's the way we're doing it this week and we're continuing with daily testing, of course."

...the current measures: "We're sticking to the procedure of the players taking tests at home and again at the training ground before they go out on the pitch. The players who are self-isolating at home because they tested positive are being visited by our medical department and the samples are taken to the laboratory. Swabs are taken at regular intervals and then we look to see whether the symptoms have gone away or are abating, whether the CT value is OK in that case and then, if things continue to develop in the right direction, whether there's a chance of getting the player released for one or two training sessions on Thursday or Friday and him being named in the squad."

...the likelihood of the players with coronavirus being able to play at Schalke: "We're conducting PCR tests because the results, in conjunction with the player's condition and symptoms, allow us to detect a certain trend, which in turn allows us to determine how high the chances are of player obtaining the all-clear through testing and being able to train again with an acceptable risk level. The question remains whether Hamburg will follow the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute to reduce the quarantine period to five days. We'd then have little problem releasing the players with no symptoms, though for us it's also a question of ensuring a player is healthy and doesn't constitute a risk for the rest of the players who are healthy. The player has to feel good and ready to partake in physical activity. That's the first step. Before any player is given the all-clear, though, they also have to undergo a thorough cardiological check."

...the media coverage of the situation in the squad: "I haven't sensed any of the alleged disquiet in the squad that's been reported recently. I didn't get the feeling it had knocked the players out of their stride. I'm still of the opinion that timing the right issues correctly ensures there is no loss of focus. An episode like this isn't everything, but it may have consumed that little extra bit of energy and focus that meant we didn't win at Sandhausen, pull the goal back earlier against Darmstadt and couldn't prevent the last-minute equaliser against Nürnberg."

...sticking together in such a difficult situation: "It's always about highlighting and seeing opportunities. It wouldn't be worth going to Gelsenkirchen if I no longer saw any. I still think being able to run out on a packed first-division ground at half past eight on the penultimate day of the season and keep the season open is a huge opportunity for the team and every individual player. It can serve as an extra motivation to ensure the stadium isn't in raptures after the final whistle and the free beer starts to flow. It's a clear opportunity for everyone involved to lay down a big marker as a group."

...the exciting end to the season: "I'd prefer to have experienced it from a different position. There's no doubt about it – this is most balanced and exciting second division ever, and perhaps the most unpredictable as well. We're banking on the unpredictability card. It isn't over till it's over."

 

Photos: Witters

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