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“Progression would be important”

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Two games within three days – and once again, 1. FSV Mainz 05 will be VfL’s opponents in the upcoming DFB-Pokal match after the 1-0 away defeat in the Bundesliga match last Saturday. Tuesday night at 20:45 CET, it’s time to take revenge at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion. In the run-up to the cup match, VfL head coach Thomas Reis answered journalists’ questions as usual.

Thomas Reis on… 

… the personnel situation: Simon Zoller and Paul Grave are not fit to play. The rest of the squad is ready to take part in the cup match.

… the 1-0 defeat in Mainz last Saturday: It was an even match. We stood firm at the back in the first half and didn’t give away many chances. Unfortunately, we didn’t find our way back into the game after the early opener in the second half. We’ll analyse the match once again with the team today and then fully concentrate on tomorrow’s match.

… the attacking performance in Mainz: Of course, we’re not happy with the attacking performance and the few chances we created. But you have to bear in mind, that Mainz have the second-best defence in the league. They have enormous quality – defensively, but also in all other parts of the squad. We managed to keep the game open but should have played out some pf the situations better. We have to work on that, to be more confident in those moments.

… the discussion before the missed penalty in Mainz: I find the discussion about the penalty absolutely ridiculous. That reminds me of a daily soap drama. I’m glad that several players step up to take responsibility. It’s over and done with, the guys have talked about it, too.

… the strategy for the DFB-Pokal round of 16: Cup games are always different to league games. They say it’s the shortest way to achieve something great. Of course, we want to progress to the next round. That would be important for the club and the team. We want to show the hunger and aggressiveness again that have won us 23 points so far this season and brought us to the round of 16 in the cup. I expect a difficult game, but we know what’s coming.

… a potential penalty shootout: I don’t expect a penalty shootout. That must not be our aim either. Every single minute costs us energy and is exhausting. But if it comes to that, we’ll be ready. We proved that in the previous round.

… a potential goalkeeper swap for the cup match: Even though I have absolute confidence in Michael Esser, a swap is not planned. Manuel Riemann will start. But, apart from that, it could well be that one or two players will get a break tomorrow.

 

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