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Vasilj: "It's easier for me to keep a clean sheet then"

Though it wasn't enough for three points, the Boys in Brown did manage to a clean sheet for the second time this season against FC Heidenheim. That left goalkeeper Nikola Vasilj feeling good, of course, and after training on Wednesday he spoke to the media representatives about that and other things...

Nikola Vasilj on…

...his first clean sheet against Heidenheim: It was important for me and the whole team. It felt really good after such a long time. We need to be compact and battle like we did against Heidenheim so we can keep a clean sheet more often. It's easier for me to keep a clean sheet then."

...the little finger he broke in pre-season: I no longer have any problems and I'm very happy about that. I'm still protecting the finger but all is good. I'm not in any more pain. It wasn't easy for me at first but I knew I had to be patient. I was patient, even though it didn't take as long as I expected, but I worked hard in the hope of maybe coming back a bit stronger as well."

...worrying about losing his place between the sticks: "I think positively and have always believed I'm the number one. I hoped I'd come back between the posts, but it wasn't in my hands, it was Timo Schultz's decision. I was once the third-choice goalkeeper in Ukraine and had to wait for my chance. I knew then I had the quality and I knew that this time as well. I remained positive, worked hard and kept believing. That's all I could do."

...the different style of play: "We practise and replicate lots of game situations where all the goalkeepers participate to learn how to make decisions more quickly. And because we no longer have any tall strikers like Simon Makienok, we don't play as many long balls, we play out from the back more. That's changed my position a bit, as I stand a bit higher up the pitch now. We need to be a bit calmer in some situations. Maybe we need a bit more experience to know when to keep things simple or abort an attack."

...Bosnia-Herzegovina's 4-1 defeat in Romania: "It's not nice when you concede four. We had some good spells in the game but conceded too easily. We still came first in the group, though. It was a nice experience for me. It's always nice when I play. Playing for your country is always special."

...the upcoming game at Braunschweig: "We still have to analyse it in detail. Obviously we need to be on top of our game at Braunschweig. We are when we play at home but not away yet. We haven't won away from home for a long time. Getting an away win at last would be important for us. We have to be aggressive and fight hard against teams like Braunschweig. We all know the situation we're in. We have to keep believing in ourselves and support each other. That's the most important thing. I'm positive about the rest of the season."

Photos: Witters