Sippel: “Plenty of ups and downs”
In an interview, goalkeeper Tobias Sippel spoke about his current role within the team, his season so far and the upcoming game in Leipzig.
Tobi, it’s been snowing heavily in Mönchengladbach since yesterday. What impact does that have on training?
Sippel: It doesn’t snow that often here, so we’re not really used to it. It does impact us a bit on the training ground because the surface is more slippery than usual. Your feet also quickly end up soaked when the weather is like this (laughs). But it should warm up by tomorrow, so it’s not too bad.
You made your fourth start of the season in the Bundesliga in the 0-0 draw against Freiburg last time out. How pleased were you to keep your first clean sheet?
Sippel: I think the team, as well as myself, were pleased to have been so solid in defence. We had conceded several goals in the prior matches, so it was good for us to be able to keep a clean sheet. We would have preferred to take our chances to score as well, but unfortunately we weren’t able to.
There was a time after the winter break where you weren’t included in the matchday squad for several weeks. How did you handle this situation?
Sippel: This season as a whole has had plenty of ups and downs for me. I was injured in the summer and then suffered a separated shoulder and a tendon inflammation in my adductor during the first half of the season. That caused me to miss the majority of training during the winter break. I lost my spot in the squad as a result and didn’t play for six weeks. But, I never began to doubt myself or lose confidence. I’m a prime example for how quickly things can change in football. All of a sudden, the team will need you again.
You were back in the spotlight just two weeks ago in Mainz, because Jan wasn’t able to travel to the game and Jonas picked up an injury in the first half. How hard was it for you to be ready to play on such short notice?
Sippel: As a goalkeeper, it’s always something unusual when you have to come on without having properly warmed up first. You can’t let it distract you for too long, because every mistake is punished instantly. I experienced this situation once before this season, when I was subbed on early in our cup game against Darmstadt. The game in Mainz was okay, although I do admit that their third goal from a tight angle should have been saved. But, with the way this season has gone, it’s normal that there might be some slip-ups. I knew ahead of the game against Freiburg that I would probably be playing and was able to prepare myself for that.
Based on our current situation, it looks likely as though you will be in goal against Leipzig on Saturday as well. Does it make it somewhat easier when you have all week to prepare yourself to play?
Sippel: It’s always a bit easier when you know that you’ll be needed on the weekend and can prepare yourself for that. That also affects how your training sessions in the week prior are structured. We will see whether Jonas is able to return on Saturday. It would be good, because we’re lacking options in goal at the minute. If he isn’t able to, then I’m obviously ready to play.
Leipzig have one of the best attacks in the Bundesliga. Are you expecting to have plenty to do on the weekend?
Sippel: Leipzig will certainly press us harder than Freiburg did. All of us are very familiar with how Marco Rose wants his teams to play. The pace and quality of Leipzig’s attackers is a big plus for them. We will be kept busy by them.
What will you need to do in order to beat Leipzig?
Sippel: We can’t lose control of the game and need to try to continue to play the way we want to play. If Leipzig press us, we need to be able to withstand these situations and fight back. That will create space, which we want to exploit.