Bundesliga matchday 23 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 23.

Bayer Leverkusen v Mainz

Xabi Alonso: “The last training session is behind us, we are well prepared for the game tomorrow. We have almost all players with very good energy and mood. Exequiel Palacios trained well yesterday and today, but it’s not enough for tomorrow.

“Bo Henriksen’s teams always perform with a lot of energy and intensity. They showed that in the last game against Augsburg. We expect a good opponent and don’t want to repeat the home defeat from last season.

“I don’t look at the table, but I know what we want. We are not thinking about May but rather about how we can achieve our goals in this current period. We are focusing on the current opponent and the goal is clear: we want to win.”

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Bo Henriksen: “We believe in ourselves and I’ve seen bigger surprises in football than us winning on Friday. The players will be ready. Today’s training session showed that they want to get stuck in and would like to be active rather than passive. The intensity needs to be as high because we need aggression. I hate it when you just hope and wait – you need to believe in your chances.

“They’re a great team, who we have a lot of respect for. We know how they can play if we let them. We will lose if they have 80 percent possession. If we go there, have faith in ourselves and stick together, then I’m confident that we’ll be able to get something. That’s our aim. We’re not going there just to defend. We also want to attack. 

“Otherwise, it’ll be just a matter of time before they punish our passiveness. I’m very pleased because the boys showed a side of themselves on Saturday that I liked. This experience, together with our courage, is our most dangerous weapon.”

Union Berlin v Heidenheim

Nenad Bjelica: “After two wins, the mood in the team has improved and the work is of course more fun. We want to continue our winning streak against an unpleasant opponent. They played very well last year and this year, and a big compliment to Frank Schmidt and his team. We have to deliver our passion, our commitment, our aggressiveness and our game at the top level to win this duel. “

Frank Schmidt: “Union Berlin is a team that is very compact defensively and defends intensively. They have a good transition game and have many fast, lively players. They also occasionally play long balls from defence. 

“We have to be prepared for that. […] It will be important that we get into the duels well, make few mistakes and use our space well. We have to go to our maximum, then we have a chance to take something worthwhile from Berlin.”

Borussia Mönchengladbach v VfL Bochum

Gerardo Seoane: “Everyone here understands the situation we find ourselves in. I feel that the team is very tightly-knit and pulling in the same direction together. The boys are trying to fight against adversity united as a team. 

“We can look at the table and be aware that very important games, which we need to pick up points from, are coming up now. Nevertheless, we’re only focused on the next game. Our goal is to put in our best possible performance on Saturday and secure a win.

“VfL Bochum have been playing with a clear identity for some time. Bochum are very aggressive out of possession, have a clearly defined style of play, and are very tough to play against. We know that it will be a big challenge – not only due to the opposition, but also due to our own situation. Finding a good balance between the necessary aggression and a certain relaxed attitude will be a very important task for us for the rest of the league season.

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Thomas Letsch: “Of course we’re going to Gladbach to win. So far we have only won away from home in Darmstadt. Now we have the next opportunity to get a win. But we also know how strong Gladbach can be. They have beaten big teams at home and are ready to play great games. 

“We have to manage to impose our game on the opponent, like we did against Bayern or in Frankfurt. If we can do that, we have the opportunity to take at least one point. We will not be the big favourites in any game in the Bundesliga – whether at home or away. We have to push ourselves to our limit again. If we can do that, there’s a good chance we’ll score points.

Werder Bremen v Darmstadt

Ole Werner: “We always want to show our best performance and the opponent is not important. All the players who will be in the squad enjoy our trust. I am completely convinced that the boys will master their task extremely well. Of course it’s better if everyone is there, but we can rely on everyone here.

“Darmstadt are not easy to play against. They are flexible and find their own way to play. But we want to maintain our stability. Our goal is to have one more goal than the opponent at the end.”

Torsten Lieberknecht: “Werder Bremen’s victory in Munich was a complete blow-out and gave them a lot of strength. They also gained a lot of self-confidence with their subsequent performances. Otherwise they have clear processes in their game. They especially like to play in the number ten positions. Still, we feel like there are things we can use to help us achieve our longed-for three points.

“We have good morale, the boys are completely intact and support each other. I also don’t have the feeling that we’re playing like the bottom team. We received a lot of support from those around us for our game against Stuttgart. Bremen is the next chance. We have to make sure we somehow get this win – maybe even after a bad game we still win 1-0. That would really help the team. Three points would also give us another massive push.”

VfB Stuttgart v Köln

Sebastian Hoeneß: “We can generate power at home. The team that starts will be capable of winning the match – but only if we deliver a good performance and take the task 100% seriously. Köln will do everything to stay in the league. We have respect for this game and have been warned.”

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Timo Schultz: “The table placement says a lot. They really play great football that is really good to watch. They are extremely aggressive as a team – with and against the ball. On the one hand, we will have to be defensively compact and not give them too much space because they will exploit it coldly. 

“On the other hand, we need our periods of possession and our situations in order to get into the final third and create chances. If we can put them in a situation where they have to run after us, then we have taken a huge step.

“We can win every game. When we are at our limit, we can beat any opponent and be extremely unpleasant – even for VfB Stuttgart. Our main focus is that we bring our performance and our strengths to the pitch. When it comes to commitment, passion and pressure, we are at the limit. 

“We know that we have to play forward with a little more courage and with more conviction. We know that, we can do that and we are working on it. I am sure that we will create a lot more attacking situations against Stuttgart than was the case against Bremen.”

Bayern Munich v RB Leipzig

Thomas Tuchel: “We love football and what we do. For me, whether I had a five-year contract or a five-week contract never mattered. All that matters is the here and now. There are new circumstances but that doesn’t play a role. I love the job and obviously will do the job with the same energy as before. There’s clarity now, and clarity gives freedom. Freedom is always good, both for coaches and players.

“It’s a professional sport at the highest level. I don’t think I’m the only problem, but I have responsibility. I’m not satisfied with the development. Now we have a new situation, it’s resolved, which hopefully makes it clear and brings freedom.

“I’ve never had the feeling that there’s a big problem. There’s a glaring discrepancy between the way we’re training and the way we’re playing. We’ve trained at a good level but that’s no guarantee that we’ll produce a good performance.”

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Marco Rose: “The statistics show that Bayern are not in a bad run at home or, in general, not in bad form. Of course, not everything is going so easily for them at the moment. But Bayern are Bayern. They are still a great team with excellent individual players and a top coach.  This team has dominated German football for years. It is and will always be difficult to win in Munich.

“I have great respect for Thomas Tuchel as a coach and especially for what he has achieved. I have great respect for FC Bayern. Decisions always have consequences and can have both positive and negative effects. But we concentrate on ourselves – that’s the most important thing. Because in the end we can only influence our performance and that doesn’t just have to be right in Munich, it has to be really good.”

Eintracht Frankfurt v VfL Wolfsburg (Sunday)

Dino Toppmöller: To follow…

Niko Kovac: “Mattias Svanberg trained with the team again today, but we will wait until tomorrow to see whether he can be there. Rogerio will still be out, Tiago Tomas has been training all week.”

Borussia Dortmund v Hoffenheim (Sunday)

Edin Terzic: “We know that we have to win again after two draws at the weekend. That’s our very clear mission for the game against Hoffenheim. Hoffenheim have often come close to winning games recently. We’ve already played them twice this season, but since then they’ve also tried to adapt a few things. We’re warned about their offence right now.

Pellegrino Matarazzo: “We know what a challenge it is to win in Dortmund. They have a high individual quality. It’s up to us what performance we deliver. We believe in our chances. We have looked good in both games against Dortmund so far and now we want to get something worthwhile. All good things come in threes.

“Perhaps it suits us that we are not the favourite. We recently chose an approach to use the frustration of the past few weeks as energy. Unfortunately, that didn’t lead to a win. We want to free the players and give them an openness to the game without letting up.” 

Augsburg v Freiburg (Sunday)

Jess Thorup: “We performed well in the last four home games, but unfortunately only got two points against strong opponents. The respect for Freiburg is great, but we now want to score more points again. Freiburg comes to Augsburg with self-confidence. The fact that they had to go into extra time is not an advantage for us. We focus on our performance.

“We hope that the stadium will be full again. This means a lot for us and for the players.”

Christian Streich: To follow…

About Mathew Burt 1058 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

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