Stindl: “Derbies are always games with a special feel”
Borussia’s captain Lars Stindl talks about the importance of the derby, his current fitness and his aims for the rest of the season.
Lars, on Sunday you have the Rhine derby against 1. FC Köln. What is it that gives you the sense that it’s derby week?
Stindl: It is still a bit empty in the dressing room because lots of players are on international duty and coming back now bit by bit. But everyone that’s here can already feel that there is a lot of anticipation for the derby, both around the club and out and about and in the city. They are just always such special games. We know how important this game is for the club and the fans, but also for us as a team. We have the possibility to win both derbies this season – that is our main aim on Sunday.
Is it a disadvantage in training for the game when ten players were still away with their national teams?
Stindl: Obviously it would be optimal if everyone was there for the start of this week’s training, but we are used to having a short period of training after international games, so it’s nothing new to us. Drills and exercises in training sessions are a bit different if you’re just a small group, but the approach for the weekend doesn’t change. Also, this doesn’t affect just us, but all Bundesliga teams.
You had to sit out of training last week. What was the reason and how fit do you feel now?
Stindl: I picked up a knock on my foot near the end of the last home game against Werder Bremen. It was more painful than I initially thought, so it dragged on a bit. But it was also good for me to have a week to recover. Now, I am back at full strength again and fit for the derby.
You won the first meeting 5-2. It was a really special day at the BORUSSIA-PARK. What are you expecting from the second game?
Stindl: We really put in a good performance last time. It was a successful day all-round, but that plays no role in the game at the weekend. It is a new game and a new situation for both teams. I’m expecting a typical derby with lots of challenges and intensity. We have to adapt to that, but also try to focus on ourselves and our strengths.
Köln have only picked up one win from their last nine games. Does that play a role in the game on Sunday?
Stindl: Derbies are always games with a special feel, so these things don’t matter come Sunday. Everyone will give their all during the game and try to get everything out of themselves, regardless of the league table or current form.
What else is the team aiming for this season alongside a win in Cologne?
Stindl: Obviously the derby has a lot of importance so we definitely want to win it. However, we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture. There are still a lot of points up for grabs. Despite this less-than-ideal period that we are going through at the moment, we are still ambitious and want to get the most points and best position in the table that we can. We just want to pick up as many points as possible and then we will see where that gets us in the end.