SCHULTZ: "GAMES LIKE THESE HAVE A SPECIAL APPEAL"
Tuesday, 18. October 2022, 15:00 Uhr
A busy week lies ahead for the Boys in Brown, who go to SC Freiburg in the second round of the DFB Cup on Wednesday evening (18.00 CET). On the eve of the game, head coach Timo Schultz looked ahead at the pre-match news conference.
Timo Schultz on…
...the injury situation: “Unfortunately, it’s changed a bit. David Nemeth is still out with a groin problem and isn’t set to return for a while. It looks like it’s going to take a bit longer. Jakov Medić has a problem with his shoulder, as everyone will have seen by the way he left the pitch. We’ll have to do some more detailed examinations today and tomorrow. I fear he’ll be sidelined both tomorrow and at the weekend. Manolis Saliakas is suspended. Luca Zander suffered a full bodycheck at the weekend, but he’s shrugged it off and I hope to see him on the training ground today. We won’t take any risks, though. We’re doing all the tests we can, so I don’t expect him to be an option against Freiburg. Our youngsters Niklas Jessen and Franz Roggow are still injured, both with muscle problems. Carlo Boukhalfa is ill. I haven’t had a status report today, but it isn’t looking too good. All that means our injury list has got a bit longer, but it’s always been a trait of ours that the lads who come in are able to plug these gaps.”
...possible alternatives in defence: “Eric Smith has shown that he can do really well in central defence. We also have Marcel Beifus, who showed he can hold his own at this level last season if he’s really focused and plays to his potential. At Union Berlin, we played with Leart Paqarada in a back three. It’s obviously a minor setback when our regular central defensive pairing is not available, but in Adam Dźwigała, who’s played really well, and Betim Fazliji, who’s already demonstrated his potential, we have alternatives who’ve been champing at the bit in recent weeks, have trained well and now have an opportunity. I’m happy when they get their chance and even more when they perform well.”
...opponents SC Freiburg: “Our most recent system with a back five is an option, of course, but our back four have shown they can hold their own against full-backs who keep a high line. But first, I’ll have a look at who’s available. We know what to expect in Freiburg. Nicolas Höfler is very flexible, while Vincenzo Grifo keeps popping up in the pockets. To go with their outstanding physicality, they have high individual quality. It’s going to be a mammoth task for us as a team. If we just go there to defend, we’ll have problems. We have to keep them occupied and control their individual quality, so we’ll have to function as a team again, and if we manage to do all that, then we may be able to cause a surprise.”
...former player Daniel-Kofi Kyereh: “When I say I hope Kofi will still be sidelined, I mean that as a compliment. It would be good for us if a player of his calibre were missing. I’m obviously looking forward to seeing him again, but hopefully in normal clothes. I don’t know if he’ll play. That won’t become clear until just before the game, so we’ll wait and see.”
...the chances of going through: “We’ll have to give as good as we get physically and in terms of our workrate. We need to stay solid as a team and if we do that, we can make it a 50-50 game. It’s the DFB Cup, anything can happen. Games like these, with one winner and one loser, always have a special appeal. The favourites tag has been assigned, but I think we have a chance and that’s how we want to approach it. We aren’t going to sit back and hide, we want to be proactive and hassle them, and then the dynamics of the game can change with every minute.”
...potential changes in attack: “We do have a couple of options up front, so maybe it’s an opportunity to freshen things up a bit. Lukas Daschner made a very good impression after coming on. He has the ability to do something special up front, win the one-against-ones and cause a surprise. He’s always a candidate for the starting lineup. David Otto has also staked a claim for a place now with his goal, but so has Johannes Eggestein. We’ll need them all and I’m glad to have so many alternatives.”