JANSSEN ON WERDER: "THEY'LL PUSH US ALL THE WAY"
Friday, 21. July 2017, 17:33 Uhr
Olaf Janssen joined the club in the role of assistant coach to Ewald Lienen in November 2016. Against Werder Bremen tomorrow he will enter the Millerntor Stadium for the first time as head coach. Janssen goes into the game against a formidable Bremen outfit with a great sense of excitement and a well prepared team.
"I'm really looking forward to the game and, with the crowd likely to top 20,000, a fantastic atmosphere. That's sensational for a warm-up match," said Olaf Janssen, who can expect to be given "superb support" on his head coach debut at the Millerntor. Asked how he planned to greet the fans in the ground, he said: "I'll be myself and won't be imitating anyone. The fans and I will sort it, no worries."
The 50-year-old is hoping for a good performance from his side against the Bundesliga outfit and thinks they are ready for the task: "I'm very happy with our pre-season. The players have gone to the limit and beyond over the last five weeks. They've all showed in training and on the pitch that they want to be in the team at Bochum."
In Werder Bremen the coaching staff deliberately chose strong opposition for the final dress rehearsal. "It's an ambitious warm-up game for us," said Janssen. "They'll push us to the limit – both defensively and offensively." Apart from long-term absentees Ryo Miyaichi (cruciate) and Philipp Ziereis (muscle tendon) Janssen has a full squad to choose from, a situation he described as "extraordinary".
The 50-year-old would not be drawn on whether the players that start against Bremen will make up the majority of the starting lineup in the season opener at Bochum: "Aziz Bouhaddouz and Mats Møller Dæhli resumed training later than the others, while Luca Zander and Robin Himmelmann were sidelined for while due to injury. The game is a good opportunity for them to show what shape they're in and other key players will get a chance to get 90 minutes in."
Having played just once over 90 minutes during the close season, Himmelmann will get the nod over Philipp Heerwagen, who went the distance three times. But Janssen refused to reveal the identity of his preferred No1, saying: "I'll inform them both as soon as I've made my decision."
Jansen will have the support of assistant coaches Markus Gellhaus and Patrick Glöckner for his first 90 minutes in charge at the Millerntor. "Patrick has run the rule over the opposition, while Markus will focus on our performance," said Janssen, concluding his remarks.