Farke ahead of #B04BMG: “My full focus is on my team”
Head coach Daniel Farke and sporting director Roland Virkus answered the media’s questions at Friday’s press conference ahead of the away game against Bayern Leverkusen (Sunday, 19:30 CEST). Here are the key statements:
Head coach Daniel Farke on…
…team news: Marcus Thuram was on the pitch again today and is looking good. He will be available on Sunday, but whether he can play 90 minutes will become clear in the next days. Ramy Bensebaini will be absent due to his suspension, and Jonas Omlin will definitely miss the game. We hope he’ll be back for the final game against FC Augsburg.
…Leverkusen’s exit in the Europa League semi-final: I would have preferred it if Leverkusen had progressed. They are certainly very disappointed and unhappy about their unfortunate exit, but Leverkusen did win over hearts. I am sure that they will try to bring this positive energy from yesterday into the stadium on Sunday. They will now be fully focused on qualifying for European football. We know the challenges of the upcoming task and we have to give a top performance to be able to pick up any points.
…the unrest surrounding his position: I’m not responsible for rumours and speculation and don’t take such things personally. I think it’s very important as a head coach to move forward even in uncertain times and not deviate from the things you stand for. My full focus is on my team. We will finish the season in the mid-table, but every place is important. Anything is possible for us between ninth and 13th place. We want to have two more successful games and climb as high as possible in the table.
…changing the formation: We are not dependent on a certain basic formation. My main priority is that our game and our principles are recognisable. The formation serves to help you implement your playing style in the best possible way. Therefore, the goal is to always be flexible. It’s not a secret that our players feel more comfortable in a back-four, and when I look back to our home games against Leipzig, Bayern and Dortmund, we were very solid and compact with a back-four. We’re also in a position, however, to switch things up and play with a back-three. This always depends on our squad as well as on the opposition.
Sporting director Roland Virkus on…
…the analysis following the last game of the season: I think I already spoke a lot about that on Monday. But again, analysis after the end of the season is a very common practice. Every club does it. We will take the necessary time together with the head coach. It’s clear that this can’t be done in one day.
…the remaining games against Leverkusen and Augsburg: In these two games, it’s also a matter of observing the squad closely and analyse the areas where we can add quality to the squad in order for us to be more versatile. We face two very different opponents in Bayern Leverkusen and FC Augsburg. Leverkusen have a lot of speed and individual quality. Augsburg have developed as a team and come with a lot of intensity.
….current contract talks: We’re in regular talks with the players whose contracts expire in 2024. We’re of course talking to other players too. It’s not just down to us in terms of being able to announce anything.