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Wahl: "For me as a footballer they're the best games"

Next up for the Boys in Brown is a trip to Hansa Rostock this Saturday (13.00 CET). On Tuesday, centre-back Hauke Wahl took time out to look ahead to the game, among other things, in conversation with the media.

Hauke Wahl on…

...opponents Hansa Rostock: "There are no easy opponents in the second division. It's obviously going to be an explosive encounter, we know that. We have to keep a cool head. I don't think we're top of the table simply because we play pretty football, we're up there because we can play ugly football as well, and that's what we aim to do on Saturday because we're up against a side who'll do something similar. Rostock are excellent in the tackle and capable of playing some very ugly stuff."

...remaining unbeaten so far: "It gives us a lot of confidence. Even suffering a setback, which has happened this season, doesn't knock us out of our stride. On the contrary, we draw an incredible amount of confidence from it."

...the explosive nature of the upcoming northern matchups: "We're really looking forward to it. That kind of atmosphere is the reason we play football. It's obviously special when the atmosphere's sizzling and you're desperate to win. For me as a footballer they're the best games and I've known the lads for long enough now to say they think the same. When it comes to the crunch, they're there and we're really up for the next few weeks."

...the clean sheets against Elversberg and Hannover: "We've done some more work on that, including quite a lot of fine-tuning. Though we haven't conceded too often, we had been shipping at least one goal for quite a while. Hannover defended very deep, so it was important for us to get the cover right. Against Elversberg, we controlled the game in general and didn't make many mistakes. They're the basics of defending, everyone joining in and if you do make mistakes, being quick to iron them out. We're doing that extremely well and that'll be crucial for the remaining matches this year."

...defeat in the friendly at Braunschweig: "It's never nice to lose but it won't knock us off our stride, though there some things we didn't do well. We'll analyse it and take a close look at what we need to do better."

...his summary so far: "I'm incredibly happy to have made the move here. I said a few months ago that I've come to appreciate the club so much. It doesn't feel as if I've only been here a few months. The credit for that obviously belongs to the club and the players, who've made me feel very welcome. I'm also very happy with my personal development. Fabian is very focused on the details, and you take that into your own game and thinking. It's all hard work that's paying off and it feels like it's getting better all the time. Another factor is that we're playing very well at the moment. Overall, I'm very happy."

Photos: Witters