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 10 is here, and the Bundesliga coaches have been giving their pre-match thoughts.
Schalke v Hoffenheim
Frank Kramer: “We sat down after the game against Leverkusen and analysed the game accordingly. It is clear to us that a different attitude is expected of us, which we also want to show. We have to show a different intensity.
“In addition, we have to have the confidence that we can show ourselves more when we have the ball and that we want to reach the opposing goal together.”
Andre Breitenreiter: “We are preparing for the game on Friday. Since we don’t know the outcome, it’s difficult to worry about the second game. But we definitely want to advance another round in the cup. In the Bundesliga we want to go to Schalke, collect three points and reward ourselves for the good performances of the past few weeks when we didn’t manage that.
“It’s not the first time that I’ve met the Royal Blues after leaving Schalke. As a coach, it’s also quite normal that you meet a former club from time to time, that doesn’t trigger any different emotions in me than games against other clubs. I’ve never held grudges against Schalke either. It’s a fantastic club, I felt very comfortable there and I still have a lot of friends there. But it’s been six years since my time there – that’s in the past.”
Werder Bremen v Mainz
Ole Werner: “It will be an intense game. We will have to secure the ball quickly after winning it and find footballing solutions because they won’t give us much time. They’re a team that play very direct and intensive football. Again, for us, it will be about being efficient in our transitions. We have to be effective with the ball at our feet.
“There isn’t lots of time to work on new things. We look at it game by game and decide what team is best for that situation. Mbom is still out. Leo Bittencourt is still ill and won’t be ready for Saturday. There is still a small question mark surrounding Milos Veljkovic.”
Bo Svensson: “We did well until the 60th minute against Leipzig but we found it difficult after that. There were various reasons for this, but it was mainly down to our opponent. However, we must also say that the quality of our crossing and our positioning in the box has so far not reflected what we are actually capable of. The statistics show that we have been getting into the final third and getting into some good areas but we have lacked the cutting edge and the quality with the final pass. We haven’t created enough chances or scored enough goals. The end product is missing. That’s just how it is.
“They [Werder] are a powerful side with lots of quality. They have been full of momentum since their promotion and they always believe in themselves. You can see that by the fact that they have scored so many late goals. They are only spurred on by their success, that is their greatest quality.”
Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayer Leverkusen
Oliver Glasner: “Leverkusen have recently played with a 3-4-3. Before the season I named Leverkusen along with RB Leipzig as Bayern’s biggest competition, because they had maintained their squad and strengthened. They are the highest tempo team in the league.
“We’ve had to improvise for weeks in defence. It is our task to find solutions. It is important that the players accept the situation and deliver the best performance that is possible from their position.
“I don’t see the problem that we don’t score enough goals, we have the third highest and the goals are spread amongst different players. We have to look at conceding fewer goals.”
Xabi Alonso: “We did many things well against Porto but we also made mistakes. At the highest level, those are punished immediately. We have to be more compact and find the spaces better.
“Frankfurt is a strong opponent, they won last season’s Europa League. We need a lot of energy and must be ready to fight. It’s an important game. We are working hard to find our identity and continue to build team spirit. We spent the first week getting to know each other better and better.”
VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Mönchengladbach
Nico Kovac: “Tomorrow we have our tenth game of the season. If you divide it into two stages, then we got two points in the first and seven in the second. Now we can get to ten points tomorrow. If we can do that, it will be a very good yield.
“In the last few weeks we have improved in many areas. We can still improve football-wise, but the team is making progress in terms of tactics. But we should expand the exploitation of chances. A few weeks ago we talked about not creating many opportunities. Now we have a certain number of chances, good chances too, but we don’t take enough of them.
“Gladbach is doing extremely well this season. The last game was also very good, although I don’t want to overrate the second half because Cologne only played with ten men. Maybe it suits us that we’re playing against a strong team that comes less from physique than from technology. In any case, we will meet a strong team that wants to have the ball a lot and has solutions going forward. Now we have to take these solutions away from the enemy, but also find our own.”
Daniel Farke: “We expect a difficult game. Wolfsburg have a very strong squad and players with lots of individual quality. They also have a very experienced coach in Niko Kovac. They haven’t started the season as they would have liked but that can give you a bit of a wake-up call. This all points towards a reaction and their past performances also speak for that. They are starting to pick up some momentum and we will approach the game with the necessary respect.
“They have a very clear way of playing football and a clear idea of how they want to create chances. It hasn’t been effective in every game so far, otherwise they would have more points. You can, however, see that they are on the right path and it won’t be easy to create chances on Saturday. They are also a side with lots of quality, they play with a high-tempo and use the ball well. We will have to get it right tactically on the day and defend well in order to quell any threat.
“I don’t think our away performances have been drastically different to our home performances. On the contrary. Apart from the first half against Bremen we have been pretty steady away from home. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that not many teams get a point away at Bayern. Not many teams will dominate Freiburg for 60 minutes and take a point off them at home. We were 2-1 up against Schlake until the last minute. We’ve come close a couple of times away from home. We want to also put in a good performance in Wolfsburg.”
VfB Stuttgart v VfL Bochum
Michael Wimmer: “They’ve been emotional days for me. I’ve known Rino a long time. The club asked me whether I’d help out in this phase and course I will. My focus is on the home game with Bochum.
“Training in the week has been about preparation for the game against Bochum and also to getting some relaxation and security into the team. The boys are focussed on Saturday. We want to play offensively and courageously on Saturday and get the fans with us from the first minute. Together with our fans we want to get the momentum on our side.
“Bochum come with confidence to Stuttgart. They have gained self-belief through their victory over Frankfurt. They are playing with determination going forward. We are prepared and are looking forward to the home game with our fans behind us.”
Thomas Letsch: “Thomas Letsch: “We looked at what things were good against Frankfurt. We want to consolidate and expand this. But of course, we also looked at the things that weren’t good. We want to keep improving. The training week was good.
“It only works with courage, regardless of the opponent. After the 1-0 [v Frankfurt] you noticed that more courage and more joy in playing came back. We want to take this momentum with us. We want to play football, but with a cool head. It would be fatal to take the complete risk. The mix has to be right.
“It’s a special game for me. Many family members and friends still live in the region. There will also be some in the stadium. But the game is much more important. We fought our way up and can leave VfB behind in the table.”
RB Leipzig v Hertha Berlin
Marco Rose: “Sandro Schwarz has stabilised Hertha. He has a clear plan and ideas and brings a lot of passion. It’s only a matter of time until Hertha begin rewarding themselves regularly, but obviously we want to prevent that on Saturday.
“We’re great friends and we’re really close. After the game we’ll be friends again, but tomorrow we both have jobs to do.
“We’re up against a tricky opponent tomorrow. They’re very intense and aggressive with a clear approach when out of possession. We have to be on our toes.”
Sandro Schwarz: “I’m seeing the team be very active in training. There will be periods of the game on Saturday where we’ll have to defend in a low block, but we can never allow ourselves to be passive. To be fair, I’ve never known these lads to be passive. I feel like the team are giving this challenging game respect, but aren’t nervous. We hope to put in a brave performance in Leipzig.
“It was important to analyse every part of the opposition’s game. Leipzig can do everything. Their team is very active and can counter quickly with deep runs. We will have to be on top form defensively, need a top performance in general and will have to have consistency and bravery both on and off the ball. The main thing, though, is that we won’t just be satisfied with a draw. We always want to perform the best we can.”
Köln v Augsburg (Sunday)
Steffen Baumgart: “In one situation or another, we sometimes lack that little bit of what you need. Our goal now has to be to win the next two games. We will do everything we can to achieve that.”
Enrico Maaßen: “We want to bring the style of football that we have shown in the last few weeks onto the pitch in Cologne. We’re in really good shape and it’s our big goal to take something countable with us again.
“With regard to the Bundesliga, Cologne has certainly rested a few players internationally in order to keep the necessary freshness. A cauldron will await us, but we have to take care of ourselves and we’re looking forward to the game. We have several options for the defensive line, but we don’t want to let our cards be looked at. A back three is also possible.”
Union Berlin v Borussia Dortmund (Sunday)
Urs Fischer: To follow…
Edin Terzic: “They work very consistently, have a very good atmosphere in the squad and compensate for their departures outstandingly. You get the feeling that everything’s very harmonious. Everyone knows their role within the team and knows what matters. In addition, they have this wonderful support at home games in particular.
“We’re always capable of creating goalscoring chances. The focus in training is not only to create goalscoring chances, but to bring them to a positive conclusion too. It’s about being precise.
“Union are the team that contest the most challenges and cover the most ground in the league. We must hold firm. It’s all about reducing the gap from four points to one.”
Bayern Munich v Freiburg (Sunday)
Julian Nagelsmann: “What matters is that we show our performance. They [Union] have clear procedures that you can always see in every game. You can see that there is an education behind it and the interaction between player and coach is good. They made good transfers this year too and otherwise have a squad that has worked well together.
“Otherwise, they have a lot of continuity in the club. They’re playing a very good round again this year, also internationally. It’s up to us to play a top game and get back to where we want to be as quickly as possible.
“We have a team that wants to constantly improve. But we can’t train much in the current phase. The quality inevitably suffers from the rhythm that we drive in the top leagues because you can’t train a lot. The quality of the games is getting worse because you just pant from game to game.”
Christian Streich: “It will be a completely different game than in Nantes. It’s nice that we can go to Munich in this position. Now they’re not first and we hope that they won’t be after our game either.”