Farke ahead of #BMGVFB: “Right now it’s about swinging the momentum back in our favour”
Head coach Daniel Farke and sporting director Roland Virkus spoke to the media ahead of Friday’s clash with VfB Stuttgart at BORUSSIA-PARK (20:30 CEST). Here are the most important statements.
Head coach Daniel Farke on…
…the state of the squad: Even though there are one or two returnees, the situation isn’t exactly ideal. Manu Koné will return after his suspension. Luckily, Ramy Bensebaini’s ankle injury wasn’t too bad. He hasn’t fully taken part in training but he could play tomorrow. Jonas Hofmann has fully trained with the team over the last few days and is also available. There are big question marks surrounding Nico Elvedi. He was able to take part in parts of training for the first time today so we’ll have to make a decision on him at the last minute. Stefan Lainer is back in team training but he isn’t quite fully fit after his Coronavirus infection so he won’t be an option against Stuttgart. Yann Sommer will also miss out. Our long-term injured players Ko Itakura, Flo Neuhaus and Hannes Wolf will definitely be out until at least after the World Cup.
…the long list of injuries: Yann Sommer, Manu Koné and Jonas Hofmann are three absolutely crucial players. Ko Itakura and Flo Neuhaus were both regular starters before their injuries. Stevie Lainer and Hannes Wolf are also really important for us. I’d love to see the club that could easily cope with seven injuries. We just have to accept it for what it is. We won’t complain but instead we’ll do our best to make the best out of the bad situation.
…the difficult run of form: It is important that we don’t go crazy when we have a good run but it is equally important that we’re aren’t too negative after a string of bad results. Of course good results help to lift the mood in the camp. We haven’t been at our best in the opposition half over the last few games and we need to try to do more to break our opponents down. It would be good if we can be more precise in between the lines once again.
…the upcoming opponents: VfB have won three of their last four games and currently have a bit of momentum behind them. They’ll be coming into this game full of confidence after the last minute goal against Augsburg. They have a good team and plenty of players with lots of individual quality. But you could also say that about us. Right now it’s all about swinging the momentum back in our favour. We can bring some stability with a win on Friday.
…the defence at this moment in time: We have undoubtedly conceded too many goals in recent weeks. Working well at the back gives you a base and it is the reason why we were so stable at the start of the season. This is what we have to get back to doing. We defended well for long periods last time out against Union but we suffered two late blows due to individual errors. Such periods are a part of the game but now it’s about being more switched on and more convincing at the back in order to keep clean sheets. This will be our task against Stuttgart.
…Tobias Sippel: Tobi is experienced enough to know that he has twice been involved in game defining moments recently. However, we have full faith and trust in him. In your assessments you cannot forget that he has lacked game time and he suffered an injury earlier in the season. He is a good goalkeeper who has served as a superb replacement to Yann Sommer over the last few years. He’s getting back into his rhythm and we’re convinced that he’ll deliver a top performance on Friday night.
Sporting director Roland Virkus on….
…the expectations this season: If everything goals well then we have the possibility of reaching seventh place. Expecting anything else is over the top and unrealistic. If we keep losing players like we have in recent weeks then it will be difficult to finish around the seventh region. We’re working hard to bring Borussia back into calmer waters and to structure the squad in such a way that we can start looking upwards again. That is a process that requires patience and we’re lucky that our fans understand that.
…possible contract extensions: We want to be ideally set-up for the second half of the season and if possible not lose any of our quality. Ramy Bensebaini and Marcus Thuram are key players. We of course want to have them come the end of the season and if possible have them for even longer. In that sense, however, we lack a bit of leverage. Yann Sommer has special qualities and that makes him a desirable player. We have had positive talks with him and we have highlighted some perspective. We would be delighted if we could come to an agreement with him. Chris Kramer has developed really well here in the first half of the season. In terms of the discussions we’ve not yet reached the finishing line but we aren’t far off.
…the possibility of new signings: Of course we are thinking about how or whether the squad will change over the winter. We would like to bring in one or two more players into the squad in order to increase the competition for places. We will keep our eyes open and assess what we can do with our financial capabilities.