As the legendary former national team trainer once said: “Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel” (after the game is before the game). One game finishes, and another arrives hot on its heels. Matchday 7 is here, and the Bundesliga coaches have been giving their pre-match thoughts.
Mainz v Hertha Berlin
Bo Svensson: “Sandro is a special guy. He has a long history with our club. I hope he will get a good reception tomorrow. Hertha are a different animal to last season. They have lots of individual quality and pace in attack. They are set up differently now and there have been lots of changes.
“Djanga (Jean-Paul Boetius) has lots of quality and he knows what is expected of him. We are very much looking forward to seeing him again tomorrow! We will have to find a solution to Hacki’s (Alexander Hack) absence. If we set up the defence differently then we will have to be aware of a few things, including the tempo.”
Sandro Schwarz: “It is obviously a special game. I’m really looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces again. It was a very formative time in terms of my experiences– as a player getting promoted to the Bundesliga. I learnt up close from some great coaching personalities in Wolfgang Frank, Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel. I have taken the way in which they worked with me. Nevertheless, the anticipation is also there with Hertha BSC to show what we can do on the pitch this Friday.
“Mainz 05 are a very settled and active football team, who play forward very quickly – especially off second balls. That will be an important area on Friday evening. The club has a lot of continuity, especially in Bo Svensson’s work. I have a lot to thank the club for; it was a very intense time – both as a player and as a coach.
“But now it is about being here [at Hertha] with all my body and soul. I already feel this way; I feel the togetherness of the Hertha family. I look forward to the club playing against a very well managed team. We want to put forward a high quality performance!
“The performance against Leverkusen was very energetic and intense, which we will take with us. On Friday, it will be very important to run a lot, because Mainz play the ball quickly in behind, but we also want to break forward as quickly as possible. We need to do the basics well and with a high intensity. We have to improve our precision in the final third in order to create more dangerous chances to score.”
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke
Edin Terzic: “We know what significance the derby carries for our fans and for the region. We’re aware of the responsibility. The derby is the most important match. We know that we need to win the game. But we also want to win the game. That would mean we’ve established ourselves towards the top.
“Schalke played very intensively and very aggressively, especially with regards to winning the ball back in the centre. Then they go forward quickly on the counter. They play very effective football. Within a few passes they try to play it into the forward line.
“We did a lot of things in the game in Manchester that have left us feeling optimistic. If we go about every task with this energy, which we showed on the pitch from the first second, we will play successful football. The way in which we supported each other, this energy – if we can replicate that every three days, we’ll be able to play very good and successful football.”
Frank Kramer: “What matters is that we are totally focused on the game. We want to absorb this emotion and convert it into positive energy on the pitch. We will also need this positive energy to play well against a strong opponent.
“Of course, we know that Dortmund will try to use their fast and agile players. That’s why we have to counter it powerfully and aggressively in the centre. And we have to look for our own chances and show a lot of willingness. We will need everything: passion, the ability to suffer, and determination.
“We don’t see this game as routine, we’re really looking forward to the derby and want to rock it.”
Bayer Leverkusen v Werder Bremen
Gerardo Seoane: “There is no ranking of importance in games, whether in the Bundesliga or the Champion League. The next game is always the most important. Tactics are always dependant on the opponent and the game. Callum (Hudson-Odoi) helps us with his technique and agility, also that he can change his position during the game. That is very valuable for us as a team.
“I like the Patrik Schick I see this season. He runs and works a lot for the team. He has a positive energy in the training, fights on the pitch and has taken responsibility even in the difficult weeks.
“Atletico was a very tactical game. Also, compactness and presence in the duels will be important tomorrow. Werder Bremen is always in the game with a lot of power.”
Ole Werner: “Organisation and positioning are crucial when you’re defending against a team that have that sort of pace (Leverkusen). We’ve been able to learn from the games against Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Wolfsburg.
“We’re also feeling comfortable at home, but we can’t draw concrete conclusion after six matchdays. We want to bring our best performance to the pitch everywhere we play.
“Pavlenka is fit. He trained individually today and yesterday. There’s nothing stopping him from playing this weekend. Other than that, nothing else has changed.”
Augsburg v Bayern Munich
Enrico Maaßen: “We have to be able to suffer, Bayern will want to have the ball a lot. We rely on the moments of transition, which we want to use purposefully and consistently to our advantage. In front of a full house, it won’t be easy for Bayern here either.
“The team was always passionate, except after the 0-1 loss against Hertha. That’s what it’s going to be about on Saturday: We have to reach the absolute maximum on Saturday in terms of running, duels, and emotionally.
“The game against Bayern is, on the one hand, a game like any other with three points available, On the other hand, you can measure yourself against the German champions and we’re looking forward to that.”
Julian Nagelsmann: “Augsburg plays a lot of long balls, they go for the second ball, cross early and shoot a lot from distance. It’s more about working than shining. We will be required to take advantage of the opportunities we create. Then I’m confident that we’ll go into the international break with a win.
“This is very important. We’re a bit behind in terms of the table, but also in terms of points, we thought we could have achieved. If you look at it purely football-wise, we’ve had a good phase. In the statistics, we are far ahead everywhere. It was good in terms of content, but of course we expected the result to be different than with the last three games.
“We’ll prepare ourselves for long balls but also for them playing football. They’ve basically strengthened the squad quite a bit. They have a clear idea that is often very straightforward but uncomfortable to defend because they have good presence on second balls. We don’t yet know exactly which formation they will play.”
VfB Stuttgart v Eintracht Frankfurt
Pellegrino Matarazzo: “Chris Führich brings a lot of energy to our game. He’s very ambitious, focused and developing well. Serhou Guirassy is lively and communicative on the pitch. He has enormous potential – it’s about showing it week after week. I’m delighted that both of them are with us.
“I’m expecting a very strong team who deserve to play in Europe. Frankfurt has a lot of attacking potency and strength. We want to build on last week’s performance and win the game at home in front of our own fans.”
Oliver Glasner: “We gave the lads the day off yesterday because it’s been a very intense couple of days. We’re obviously aiming for three points but we know it’s going to be an intense, competitive game.
“VfB’s results don’t match their performances. They have a clear way of playing and very fast players in attack. We want to show the same spirit and energy we had in Marseille. It’s going to be an intense and competitive game, as it always is in the Bundesliga.
“Hasebe and Jakic have had some issues but have both indicated they’re available. Pellegrini has only been able to do light training on his own. We want to use our final period without a game to build up our capacities.”
Borussia Mönchengladbach v RB Leipzig
Daniel Farke: “I think Leipzig will finish in the top four. We will have to deliver a top performance and be at our best in a number of areas. We’re looking forward to the challenge though and want to get a good result with the fans behind us.
“It’s always trickier to prepare when there’s been a change in coach, but we know the kind of football Marco Rose plays and the quality of Leipzig’s individual players. We’re up against a top side.
“Marvin Friedrich is a very reliable, tactically astute player that can build up from the back solidly as well. His physique means he is very strong in the air too. It’s no coincidence that we kept a clean sheet at Freiburg with him in in the side.”
Marco Rose: “I can only influence that [the Gladbach welcome] to a limited extent and so I just take it as it comes. We have an important game tomorrow and I’ve had very intensive days with the team. We’ve focused on preparing for Gladbach and I think overall it will be as always, there will be a hot and great atmosphere in Gladbach.
“I also like having the ball at my feet with my team! But of course we always try to put together the complete package. If we don’t have the ball, then we want it. Gladbach does it very well. In that sense, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid were a kind of blueprint for our game against Gladbach, because we are looking at similar tasks. In the last two games we did it very well twice and we’re confident that we can do it again tomorrow. But it’s not just about chasing the ball, we also want to have it ourselves. That’s why it’s going to be an exciting game.
“With the ball, Borussia is a team that can press high. Jonas Hofmann, for example, does this brilliantly. Gladbach have a lot of attacking defenders and dynamic youngsters. So, we have to be ready for everything, under high pressure, and find solutions. The tasks we face in Gladbach are very complex.”
Union Berlin v VfL Wolfsburg (Sunday)
Urs Fischer: “In the last game, Wolfsburg changed their style. They were more compact than before and have a clearer idea of how they want to play. Of course, we haven’t had much time to prepare, but I’m sure the players are well prepared and ready.
“We’ve put the game from Thursday behind us, and are in good spirits and looking forward to the 90 minutes against Wolfsburg.”
Nico Kovac: “The rhythm of playing every three days is not easy. I watched the game against Braga yesterday and I have to say, the intensity with which this team play is unmatched. They go up and down for 90 minutes. Union are there in every challenge – whether it’s with or without the ball. They play in a very intense and physical way.
“If you’re top after six matchdays, then you’ve certainly done a lot of things right. That shows the qualities they have. We know we’ve got a job on our hands at the Alte Försterei and have to be mentally well prepared for that.”
“It would be mightily important if we could get something in Berlin after the win in Frankfurt. We have to be realistic. We’re 16th in the table and we’re away to the leaders. It’s anything but an easy task, but nevertheless we’re going into the match positively. We want to get a result in any case. To do that we need to really bust a gut, otherwise it’ll be hard.”
VfL Bochum v Köln (Sunday)
Heiko Butscher: “This week we wanted the team to focus on the training sessions. Every single minute was expected to be used to leave a solid impression on me. I have the sense that they are awake and willing to give their everything on the pitch on Sunday. I haven’t done many one-on-one conversations. I wanted to put down a marker that there’s not always a need to talk. It’s important to make conversations. We spoke a lot about how we are planning to perform on Sunday. But, my plan this week was less talking, more doing.
“Köln are well structured, they press forward quite early, have numerous intense runs and several quality players. They are definitely a very strong side and play international football and deservedly so.”
Steffen Baumgart: To follow
Hoffenheim v Freiburg (Sunday)
Andre Breitenreiter: “We’re hugely looking forward to the game. It’s a Baden derby, a floodlight fixture and we’ll have lots of fans in the stadium here. We of course want to continue our strong home record, even though it won’t be easy against Freiburg. It’ll be an exciting match between equals.
“We’ll need to play with high intensity and go about our fundamentals with a clear approach. Our objective is to tire Freiburg out. They have had an English week. If we build on the performance from the second half against Mainz, I’m confident we’ll manage that.
“We’re going up against a strong opponent that yesterday showed once again how good they are. They won comfortably in Piraeus. The success is no coincidence. They have unbelievably good positional play and are highly versatile. We know of their strengths and are ready for them. They’re enormously dangerous from set-pieces.”
Christian Streich: “We have to keep being ourselves. The lads are performing brilliantly right now, however we can’t allow our expectations to become too unrealistic.
“Hoffenheim will be a totally different kind of opponent to Olympiacos. They are a really hard team to play. They have quality up front and a strong defence. A successful trip to Hoffenheim would be a real statement. I’ll be impressed if manage it.”