Bundesliga matchday 19 pre-match presser

The Bundesliga serves up another round of exciting matches this weekend and the eighteen trainers have been giving their pre-match thoughts ahead of what promises to be another fascinating matchday. Here you’ll find all the key thoughts ahead of matchday 19.

Eintracht Frankfurt v Mainz (Friday)

Dino Toppmöller: “We’re facing opponents who are very proactive. They’re a team who press and counter-press a lot, and always get themselves high up the pitch. We not only need to play well going forward but also have to keep Mainz under control and make sure we have good defensive cover. We want to put our stamp on the game.

“We’ve started well after the winter break with four points from two games. It could have been six, but we want to turn our anger into positive energy and bring that onto the pitch on Friday. That’s what we’re fully focused on. We’re desperate to put in a good performance and see this as an opportunity to cement our place near the top. We see ourselves as favourites and want to live up to that role.”

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Jan Siewert: “We’re going into the game to win it. It’s now about us making a big leap again. But that only happens through victories. We have the opportunity to do that at Eintracht. They are very flexible in building up their game, primarily with the aim of creating superior numbers on the wing and thus getting into depth.”

VfL Wolfsburg v Köln

Niko Kovac: “We are playing at home and we have already played very good games and shown that we are the stronger team at home. You can also see this in the points. Our goal is to win the home game and get three points again in front of our audience. 

“1. FC Köln is certainly not as bad in terms of points as it is currently. It will be another tough, intense fight. I won’t underestimate 1. FC Köln, even with a new coach. It’s going to be a tough game again, a tough game and I don’t think there will be many goals in the game. Both teams want to score.”

Timo Schultz: “I expect a game of equals, which will be decided through many small actions. It will be an intense game with emotions on the pitch. We are in a relegation battle and it’s all about points. Both teams want to win the game with all their might. I know it will be a high intensity game. Above all, we have to keep a clean sheet. If we prevent goals from being conceded, maybe it will be easier for us to score them.”

Hoffenheim v Heidenheim

Pellegrino Matarazzo: “Frank Schmidt is doing an excellent job. The team are intact and are flowing. Their movement is very intense. They run a lot and attack by coming forward quickly. They are well-drilled. On top of that, they are good from set-pieces. It is no coincidence that they have picked up so many points recently. It will be important to keep them at bay.

“I look forward to every Bundesliga match – it’s always something special. Of course, playing in front of your own fans is always nicer than in front of the other team’s. We look forward to being back at home. It’s no secret that a victory would do us good. I’m concentrating on the game, I’m focusing on the team. If we perform at the weekend, the results will come. The pressure is normal.”

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Frank Schmidt: “The guideline is- never limit yourself, but have the humility that we are newcomers. Nothing will be given to you in any phase. We should not allow ourselves to be blinded or lulled into security. We still have to earn our way to stay in the league.

“Our focus is to make sure we have a good buffer. You can’t assume that we will remain unbeaten until the end of the season. They have top players that we have to defend – for 90 minutes, plus injury time. Everything has to be perfect for us again.”

Werder Bremen v Freiburg

Ole Werner: “The week is short and we’ve got a very different game with very different things to focus on ahead of us. It’ll need a different kind of physicality. We’ll need to defend lots of long balls and crosses in the penalty area. We have to be 100% alert, because Freiburg have a very clear plan for every in-game situation. That’s one of the most demanding tasks.

“Everyone knows the kind of quality awaiting us. We want to approach the game with self-confidence because we’ve gained stability and have picked up our points against teams at both the top and the bottom of the table. We want to continue this positive development and we need a top performance to do so – we all know that.”

Christian Streich: “They put in an incredibly good performance [v Bayern Munich], won lots of individual battles and are playing really well. We’ll show the boys that and look for ways to counter it.

“They have a clear game plan, because they always play the same basic formation. They also bring calm build-up play and a good team spirit. They’ll be really up for it in front of their enthusiastic support.”

Augsburg v Bayern Munich

Jess Thorup: “I feel like we’re on a really good trajectory. We will try to keep in control of the game not just when we’re out of possession, but when we have the ball as well. We don’t just want to defend. Bayern are used to playing three times a week. They are a strong side and know exactly what they need to win games.

“It’s huge for us to play at home in front of a full house. The fans are our 12th man on the pitch. Every player will have to put in a top performance to get anything out of the game after 90 minutes. We want to win points, preferably even three.”

Thomas Tuchel: “There’s no putting a value on the importance of games. Konrad Laimer and Dayot Upamecano are out for weeks. Konny has played every game for us, so it’s tough. We have to try to compensate for that. There’s a plan. We feel prepared. But there are obviously a lot of injuries from the rearranged game [against Union].We’re missing midfielders. Josh won’t play, Konny won’t play. It means we probably can’t drop Leon Goretzka back. In all likelihood it will be Leon and Aleksandar Pavlovic in midfield, with Matthijs de Ligt and Eric Dier in central defence.

“We want to win tomorrow and aren’t concerned with what’s already happened. It’s just about tomorrow, and we want to deliver.”

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VfB Stuttgart v RB Leipzig

Sebastian Hoeneß: “In my view, we did a lot of things well against Bochum. We created clearer chances than in the previous week against Gladbach, and we didn’t give many away. The goal we conceded was a poor one but we still showed a good reaction, and have analysed these positive aspects during the week with a view to the home game against Leipzig.

“RB Leipzig are an absolutely top-class side, as we learned in the reverse fixture. Nevertheless, we believe we’re capable of causing them problems at home. We’re really up for it. We two need halves at the same level. If we manage that we can get something, but we know it’s going to be tough.”

Marco Rose: “Stuttgart have a clear idea. They play with a lot of conviction and have extraordinary players in the squad. They are good at switching and rightly are exactly where they are at the moment. Tomorrow I expect a duel at eye level against a very strong opponent – we need a top performance against Stuttgart.

“We simply have to be there in crucial situations. We need a good performance in defence, but also confidence in our offensive game.”

Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Mönchengladbach

Xabi Alonso: “We are happy to be back at home playing in our Bay Arena, with our fans behind us. After the game against Leipzig we have to be ready for the next game. We want to put a good performance on the pitch.

We didn’t win in Augsburg and Leipzig through luck, we fought until the end and believed in ourselves. We played good football in the second half in Leipzig. Our goal is not to win in the last minute, but to perform well throughout the game. We know Gladbach and Gladbach knows us. We expect a strong opponent and a coach who knows the club well. Gerardo Seoane deserves a warm welcome to the Bay Arena.”

Gerardo Seoane: “We’ve got two difficult games ahead of us, but we’re facing up to these challenges and will try to counter them. We’ll need a lot of things to go in our favour on the day, but it’s possible to win points against these opponents. It’ll have to be a top performance from our side and a slightly less good one from the opposing side. Of course I’m looking forward to returning to Leverkusen. I had a great time there and I’m thankful that the club gave me that chance. That was a long time ago now though. The focus is on the sporting task ahead of us there at the weekend.

“No opponent has managed to beat Borussia so far – and there are good reasons for that. Leverkusen play very consistent football across every phase of the game. They have great individuals, but equally they are an outstanding unit who have been at their best so far this Bundesliga season. They are always very hungry and believe in themselves until the final whistle.

“It’ll be very difficult to threaten Leverkusen over the whole 90 minutes. I’m guessing that they’ll threaten us instead. We’ll have to close the spaces and defend with discipline. We’ll also have to counter quickly after winning the ball and make good decisions.”

Union Berlin v Darmstadt (Sunday)

Marie Louise Eta (assistant): “Darmstadt have recently played with a certain euphoria and have shown a strong mentality in many games. I’m assuming that both teams will leave their hearts on the pitch and that it’ll be a very competitive game. That’s why we have to find the balance, to create more opportunities with the ball and dangerous scoring chances.”

Torsten Lieberknecht: “Union Berlin is a physically strong team. They recently switched between two basic orders – sometimes they played in a 4-1-4-1, sometimes with a back three in a 3-5-2 system. Overall, they have a good mix in their game of playful moments and deep, long balls to their physically strong strikers. It will be an emotional box. A lot will be demanded of us, especially physically.”

Borussia Dortmund v VfL Bochum (Sunday)

Edin Terzic: “We know that we have taken two good steps and that we’ve made a successful start to the year. But we need to follow it up by taking further steps, the next one awaits us on Sunday. That’s the only thing that counts. We want to keep playing good football and picking up results. Then we can put the competition under pressure, but that’s down to us alone.

“They play very passionately and aggressively. They contest the most challenges in the league, foul frequently and try to use that to disrupt the opposition’s rhythm. We’re aware of the opposition’s qualities and capabilities. Nonetheless, we also know that it is in our hands to come off the pitch as winners with a good performance.”

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Thomas Letsch: “Important components will be emotionality and passion. Of course, Dortmund is clearly above us on paper. We are playing against a world class team full of many national players. We only have a chance if we as a team have passion, intensity and mentality. A derby is always something special. So far I have had good experiences with derbies, at all stages. Derbies are something special not only for the fans, but also for us. Especially when we, as the ‘small’ VfL Bochum, travel to the big BVB, the roles are clearly assigned.”

About Mathew Burt 1053 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball