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Göttlich: "We've progressed better than expected"

Director of sport Andreas Bornemann and head coach Timo Schultz got the ball rolling in midweek when they took time out to speak at length to the media. Next up to face the journalists was club president Oke Göttlich going into the weekend.

Oke Göttlich on...

…the season just ended: "We're satisfied with the progress made, just the run-in was frustrating. I think we all feel that. We've come on much faster in many areas than we might have thought possible, which fuelled expectations that didn't materialise in the end unfortunately. In the next steps we take we want to garnish what Timo and Andreas have built. We're able to build on a clear strategy that has come out of the discussions between Andreas, Timo and the club. Under this strategy, we've made better progress than expected for this season, and yet we still have reason to be disappointed for not taking the big step."

…transfers and the increasing attentions of other clubs: "We're in the happy situation that clubs are interested in our players. It's a clear signal of the progress we've made. We want people here at the club who we can improve. We consider it a huge privilege to have developed players to such an extent that other clubs are showing interest. That's a major step for the football club. We haven't had that in that form for quite a while, so in that respect we're delighted. We'll only sell if we get what we feel is right in terms of the market value. Every decision is about weighing up if the value of a potential sale is higher for the club than keeping the player. This decision is taken jointly by the coach and the director of sport. It may be the case that we make a deficit on transfers occasionally in order to take the next step."

…open and honest communication with the players: "Open and honest communication also involves open and honest feedback and that feedback can be critical. Nevertheless, we're in the professional game and ultimately our aim is to deal with criticism in such a way that we take the next step. The communication had no influence on the way we performed. We saw distinct and passionate football but ultimately we didn't get the results. We were challenging for promotion until the penultimate day and put in good performances against Darmstadt, Nürnberg and Schalke. The communication issue is very individual. What one player considers good communication isn't enough for another. It can be construed in many different ways, as can the feedback. The club stands above the individual. It's got nothing to do with professional football if we start talking about personal sensitivities here."

…head coach Timo Schultz and director of sport Andreas Bornemann: "Timo is strong because he's formed a team from all these players that has played such attractive football. We saw the coaching strategy in the sense of 'we want to be active and play attacking football'. That, in combination with the squad planning and the question of what types of player we need to play the kind of football we want to play. Timo has definitely taken the club a step forward. It's his first coaching appointment with some extreme highs but also results in the second half of the season where you're sure to ask yourself what the cause was if you're the coach or a player. We have a strong coach and a strong director of sport. Andreas is someone who makes clear and concise decisions in terms of strategy and content. He has a clear idea of how he wants to progress football clubs. And this progress is understandable."

…the World Cup in Qatar: "The decision to give it to Qatar could not have been more limited in its thinking. If there's a set of values and you end up not keeping to it, then that's out of the ordinary. I understand every player whose dream it is to go to the World Cup and not to boycott it from a player's point of view. I can understand that from the conversations I've had with Jackson Irvine and other international players. The next issue that football will have to face is the completely backward and homophobic LGBTQ rights in Qatar."

Photos: Witters