This Saturday afternoon (kick-off at 15.30 CET) it’s time for the next Bundesliga match when VfL Bochum 1848 are facing Borussia Dortmund away from home – it’s derby time! In the run-up to the match, VfL’s head coach Thomas Letsch and director of football, Patrick Fabian answered the journalists’ questions.
Thomas Letsch on…
…the personnel situation: Takuma Asano, Paul Grave, Jacek Góralski, Erhan Mašović and Dominique Heintz won’t be fit to play. Dominique Heintz should be fine fort he match against Borussia Mönchengladbach next Tuesday.
…the Ruhr-derby against Borussia Dortmund: I’m fully aware that the derby is something special. I know games like this from other clubs, for example in Vienna or at Vitesse Arnhem. You feel like you are falling down twice and then you are in Dortmund. That’s how close it is. It almost feels like we are playing at home. I’m looking forward to this game and hope that we will keep the derby in good memory.
…the match preparation: In the coaching team we have reviewed scenes from the two matches against Dortmund from last season. But we are focusing on the team we have now. A lot has changed, both with Dortmund and with us.
…the centre-backs: We have to make changes on our centre-back positions. That is something that goes on throughout the season. With Vasilios Lampropoulos and Tim Oermann, we have two centre-backs who could play alongside Ivan Ordets. It will probably come down to Vasi. Experience speaks for him, and it worked very well in the interplay with Ivan this week in training. Vasi is a winner who always gives his all, even when he’s not playing.
…the poor away performance: We must not always concede four goals away from home. We have to go into every game the same way, whether at home or away. We want to win every game. Since I’ve been here, we’ve won three times out of six games. If we can maintain this rate, we will achieve our goals.
…Christopher Antwi-Adjei: Christopher landed unluckily on his hip at the beginning of the week and had to abandon training. He had a painful bruise and now had to train individually. He is expected to return to full team training tomorrow.
…Lys Mousset: Lys accepted his individual programme very positively. It has done very well and brought himself to a different physical level. Offensively we have more options than defensively at the moment anyway, Lys now adds to that.
…Takuma Asano: It is possible that Takuma will be in the squad against Augsburg. But anything additional that happens before the World Cup is a bonus for him. I am happy that his rehabilitation is going so well. Our medical department has done a very good job there. He is an absolute top professional and I am happy for him that he will be at the World Cup. It is something special and a great honour to play for your country at a World Cup. In that respect, I’m happy for everyone, even if it means he’s not in training with us.
Patrick Fabian on…
…the defeat in Wolfsburg: The disappointment was definitely huge. After the strong performance against Union Berlin and the victory in Elversberg, we didn’t necessarily expect that. But the beauty of football is that it always moves on quickly. I also quickly flipped the switch again. It’s all about supporting the lads and exchanging ideas with the coaching team and certain individuals. We now have the chance to do better against Dortmund.
… possible World Cup call-ups: Takuma Asano is a confirmed player at the World Cup. Otherwise, Erhan Masovic and Christopher Antwi-Adjei might travel to the World Cup. We’ll see about Cristian Gamboa. The squads will be announced in the next few days and weeks. I am happy for everyone who has the opportunity to play for their country at a World Cup. This tournament only takes place every four years.
… the end-of-year wrap-up: We will sit down together after the end of the year and analyse everything. We will see where we stand, evaluate it and draw conclusions. That is how we will look to the future.
…Lys Mousset: Of course, we would have liked Lys to be in a shape to help us earlier. But there is a lot of talk about him, even though he hasn’t played yet. I am convinced that with a certain intensity he will help us a lot.