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 9 is here, and the Bundesliga coaches have been giving their pre-match thoughts.
Hoffenheim v Werder Bremen
Andre Breitenreiter: “Bremen has a clear way of playing, very defined actions. The team is disciplined and that currently makes them strong opposition. We want to neutralise exactly that and show our strengths.
“Ducksch and Füllkrug complement each other very well. They are a dangerous attacking duo, and we need to be ready for them. But it is also clear that we are TSG, we have a home match and want to come out confident.
“Kevin Akpoguma has performed his role in the last few matches really well. Even before the Hertha game, he also put his arm around Stanley, gave him motivation and advice. I really liked that.”
Ole Werner: “Hoffenheim are a strong team and try to develop a game from the back. In terms of character, it’s certainly a similar task to that against Gladbach.
“We try to play offensively and become dangerous in all phases. We certainly have a lot of players who have their strengths in going forward. That’s why it’s only logical that we try to play football like that.
“Situations arise for which one is prepared, but which cannot be prevented because the individual quality of the players is very high. In certain situations, you know that there will definitely be a clear chance to score, where it is still the case in the second division that you wait and see how a counterattack is played or whether another mistake is made.”
Bayer Leverkusen v Schalke
Xabi Alonso: “It’s now about to get to know the players, feeling the atmosphere and talking to the team. I don’t look too far into the future. I look from game to game, the next one is always the most important.
“I felt that as a coach I first had to go through a process to become good. The steps in youth at Real Madrid and then at Real Sociedad were important. Now it’s time for me to take over a big team.
“It’s a great honour for me to be here. I’m happy to manage the #Bayer04 team. It’s a big project at a big club with a strong team.”
Frank Kramer: “Sunday was disappointing, then there were the two injuries. These are slaps in the face that have to be taken. You have to shake off and the boys have done that. Our full focus is on Leverkusen.
“It’s different, of course [the team talk after the change in trainer], because we’ve looked at their games and drawn conclusions. It’s important to stay true to yourself and be clear about what you want.
“As is well known, Kaminski, Cissé, van den Berg and Zalazar are out. Cedric Brunner was able to take part in the entire training program this week and we assume that he will be available to us again.”
Mainz v RB Leipzig
Bo Svensson: “We trained extremely hard the last two days. So, I felt that the boys should do a little less today, so they could be as fresh as possible come Saturday.
“Leipzig lost a great goalkeeper with Gulácsi’s injury, something like that is always unfortunate. I wish him a speedy recovery. Marlon Mustapha remains unavailable for selection. Other than him, everyone was on the pitch and trained. Marcus was a little limited in what he could do, but completed a large part.”
Marco Rose: “Mainz are doing great work. They have built a really good squad with physically strong players. We will come up against a very aggressive side – that’s what Mainz are about. We have to find the little space that Mainz will afford us and make the most of it. It will be a tight game, as Mainz will press hard and attack us.
“We have won back-to-back games and performed well. We know that we have a lot of matches ahead, eleven in five weeks. The Mainz game is the first obstacle.”
VfL Bochum v Eintracht Frankfurt
Thomas Letsch: “Both offence and defence didn’t work in Leipzig, we didn’t perform well offensively and were poor defensively. That’s why we have room for improvement in all areas. We have worked on many points where we can start. Irrespective of all tactical and personal orientations, we want to show from the first minute on Saturday that we no longer present ourselves as we did in Leipzig.
“I’m really looking forward to being on the sidelines for the first time as VfL head coach at home. The atmosphere and football in the Ruhr area is something special. When we get the fans behind us here in the stadium, the atmosphere is simply extraordinary. But it’s entirely up to us to get the fans behind us. We want to set an example.
“Eintracht won the Europa League last year. They’ve been doing really well in the Champions League so far and have found stability in the Bundesliga. We have to be extremely careful with their switching moments, they bring a lot of speed with them.
“In addition, they are defensively very, very stable and have not conceded four games in a row. That will be very challenging for us. We have to give 100 percent of our performance on the pitch, only then can we beat Eintracht.
Oliver Glasner: “I’m expecting highly motivated opponents. Bochum are a very strong, physical team. I expect them to try to cause us problems with their quick forwards. We’re prepared for that.
“We can beat the leaders and lose to the bottom side in our next match. In Bochum, we’ll also go into the game feeling mentally fresh and motivated. I never look at where a team are in the table. We need wins and positive memories in order to stay fresh, which is why I think the last few weeks have done us a lot of good. Now we’re looking forward to an away match in front of 25,000 fans.”
Augsburg v VfL Wolfsburg
Enrico Maaßen: “The attitude we went into the game with [vs Schalke] from the very start, as well as the cohesion we showed – even coming back despite being a man down at Schalke – is what we take from those last games.
“Nothing is better than a win. Every win brings conviction and self-confidence, the boys are growing as a unit and everyone wants it to continue this way. You’ve seen us play well plenty of times, but then falter in the final third. We’ve got to continue to work in all areas, keep our opponents busy, create dangerous situations, battle against challenges, and get the fans on our side. That’s why we’re training hard.
“Wolfsburg have won two of their last three, have a lot of pace up top and plenty of experience. But that is the case with many teams. We need to play our own game and show our energy, then we can perform well against Wolfsburg.
“The support we have received in the last few games was really, really good – it would be amazing to have the stadium full once again this weekend.”
Nico Kovac: “Augsburg shows how fast things can go in the Bundesliga. FCA didn’t start well either, but they managed to win the last three games thanks to good defence, certainly the necessary luck, but also through quality. Now the team has a run. That’s where we want to go too. And if we want that, then we have to get something in Augsburg.
“I expect a very physical game. Augsburg is a team that plays very straight forward and is very aggressive. Everyone who runs up against them has to counter it. We’ll be faced with a really difficult task tomorrow. Nevertheless, I hope and believe that we have a good chance of taking something from the game Because what I saw last time, against Stuttgart and also in training, makes me confident.”
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich
Edin Terzic: “It’s our responsibility to show from the start that we want to leave the pitch as winners. We want to take the crowd with us. We know what they expect from us and we want to live up to that.
“Against Bayern you need courage to stay on the ball, courage to go one-on-one. Not only against Bayern, but especially against Bayern.
“Marco Reus will not be able to be used. With Gregor Köbel we’ll see how he feels after the final training session. Giovanni Reyna, Mats Hummels and Marius Wolf will all be in final practice and may be available.”
Julian Nagelsmann: “They [Dortmund] are a very good side, they have made some good signings and have put together a strong team. When they defend deep, they are always dangerous on the counter. They have good players who always sprint behind the last line, they have a good tempo. In general, I think they’re having a solid season, are a top opponent and it will be a good game.
“It’s important that victory number number nine follows. But in general it has no relevance for the game. You have to prove yourself again. It’s an important game, in terms of the table and also to set an example.
“Victory is above everything. It will certainly be a bit more controlled than the last duels. Dortmund always defends deeply, with a good compactness waiting for counterattacks. There is always a clear sequence with them when they counterattack. It is important that we win, and we’ll do everything to get it.”
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Köln (Sunday)
Daniel Farke: “I know that this is one of the most important games of the year for the fans and for the club. There is a certain explosiveness and emotion attached to this game. I don’t want to look back on the games that I wasn’t a part of. I haven’t lost a derby with Borussia and I want it to stay that way on Sunday. We need to be good all over the pitch in order to do that.
“These are the games that remind you of why you started playing football in the first place. You were always just up for winning games with your teammates. And that’s what a derby feels like. The table means nothing when it comes to matchday. It comes down to giving it absolutely everything in order to win the game. In my opinion, there are no favourites in a derby. Both teams are totally focussed and we want it to go our way.
“You have give Steffen Baumgart huge credit for the excellent job he is doing in Köln. His team are playing his way and they are very hard to beat. They have made a good start to the season. We are going into the game with the necessary respect because we know that Köln have lots of fighting spirit, energy and intensity. It will be a difficult challenge but it would be boring if derbies were easy. I think it will be a tight match and we are looking forward to it.
Steffen Baumgart: “We don’t take it as an A and B team. We know that Hector and Skhiri have different qualities than the guys who were out there today [v Partizan]. I made my decision consciously and made it right. That’s why I’m the coach and nobody else. I will continue to make these decisions – and the fans support them. We won’t talk about an A and B because we don’t have an A and B.
“We will have a different line-up against Mönchengladbach, and I expect a passionate game. It will be just as intense, and I hope that it will be peaceful. Both teams will put everything into it. I’m looking forward to it.”
Hertha Berlin v Freiburg (Sunday)
Sandro Schwarz: “It’s about working hard again on Sunday to put in a performance that validates our day-to-day work. Freiburg have started the season really well and are extremely structured. They have also often played with the same starting eleven. They are a team that defends well strongly and aggressively. They have good solutions going forward as well.
“We will have to prepared for that with the way we want to play against them. We’re not only aware of the quality they possess but also of what we ourselves have done on the pitch in recent weeks. Now it’s time to repeat that: To defend compactly and energetically, but also to switch at the right moments and be creative in possession.
“We’ve recently achieved a level of consistency, which tells you about the boys who have been playing for us regularly. But this intensity and consistency needs to be repeated week in, week out. In training, there’s been a good level of fun and intensity, even for those lads who haven’t got a huge amount of minutes in recent weeks.
“All in all, every individual needs to deliver their own performance, but in this respect, there is a great understanding of the collective. The boys are handling their respective personal and sporting situations very well at the moment.”
Patrick Baier (Freiburg assistant): “We haven’t thought about the line-up yet. The energy is already there, but it may be that we change something in one or the other person.”