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Smith: "Have to look in the mirror and say we’re not doing enough"

With the next game against Heidenheim just over a week away, the Boys in Brown have plenty of time to prepare for part two of the first half of the season. Midway through the international break, Eric Smith took time out to answer questions from the media after training on Thursday.

Eric Smith on...

...his physical shape: "I had a slight cold so I was only out of training for two or three days. Unfortunately, from my point of view, that meant I missed the game at Regensburg. I'm feeling fine again now and have been back in training since Tuesday. In general, I've been injury-free so far and I'd like to keep it that way, and I am working a lot on prevention."

...the Regensburg defeat: "It just wasn't good enough as a team. We know that and it's something we're working on. When we looked at the game, we saw that the things we talked about beforehand are working really well, it's just that we aren't doing well enough as players at the moment. We have full confidence in the plan we've been given by the coaching team. When you look at the game, I think if we simply do the things that the coaches told us to do a bit better, we’ll create more goalscoring opportunities and be able to keep more clean sheets. That's the point we're at at the moment where we really need to start keeping clean sheets to get results."

...the current form: "We have to look in the mirror ourselves as players and say we're not doing enough at the moment. The quality we have is totally good enough, we can compete with anyone. We have amazing players who are all young. I think we're on the right track, even though the results aren't going our way at the moment. It can only get better."

...the current standings: It's still early, last year Schalke and Werder Bremen and didn't start too well either. This league is crazy, anyone can beat anyone. So it can turn quickly, we just need to get on a small run. We're working on it and we need to start turning the ship around."

...the switch from one to two defensive midfielders: "Every system has advantages and disadvantages. I like both. I think the connection with Jackson Irvine has worked very well for us this season, we think football in a similar way. Jackson is always going to have more of an attacking role, but when there are two of us I can also join in the attack from time to time. We both know that it's mainly my job to be defensive, though. I think it's more secure with two defensive midfielders and we feel more stable when we're defending. With one defensive midfielder, we have a more attacking mindset and it's a bit riskier at the back."

...the upcoming home game against Heidenheim: "They're a really good second division team. Since I came here, they've always been in the top six or seven, so we have to deliver a really good performance. I think I also said that before the last home game against Heidenheim and that game was one of our best games. We'll need a similar performance to get the three points."

...his election to the players' committee: "It's amazing that the guys chose me. It’s an honour. It's a good place for us to care about all our players and try to help our coaches get even more out of us, especially at the moment. I think this is one of the most important jobs you have when you're on the players' committee. Now’s the time for us to step forward and help the team as much as possible."

Photos: Witters