Virkus: “The team wants to and is able to fight”

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Virkus: “The team wants to and is able to fight”

Roland Virkus, Borussia’s managing director for sport, speaks about the lessons learned from the spectacular opening game of the season in Augsburg and the upcoming clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

Roland, Borussia took home a point from Ausgsburg after a late equaliser made it 4-4. Is there anything that particularly pleased you?

Virkus: Most certainly the emotions visible when we made it 4-4. Our team fought until the very end of the game to find an equaliser and deserved it due to our attitude. It impressed me that a 23-year-old striker picked up the ball in the 97th minute and simply slotted the penalty home. The reactions from our players and fans pleased me immensely. The same goes for the emotions displayed by the coaching set-up, especially Gerardo’s reaction. All this shows how much heart and passion we’re playing with at the moment. We also developed this attitude during pre-season. 

What else are you taking from this game?

Virkus: The team exhibited their strong team spirit and showed that they want to and are able to fight. Tomáš Čvančara, for example, was closely marked by his opponents throughout the whole game, but used his physicality to challenge them. Other players, such as Flo Neuhaus, assert themselves in a different way, for example, with a good sliding tackle when we regained possession before making it 2-0. All in all, I’m pleased that we can come away from the game feeling positive. 

Despite the squandered lead?

Virkus: Naturally, you should normally win an away game in which you are two goals ahead and end up scoring four goals. However, there’s also a psychological element. Augsburg turned the game on its head, suddenly went 4-3 up and we still found a way to come back despite that. That pleases me. Nevertheless, we also saw that we still have a lot more potential defensively – not only individually, but also collectively. After all, individual errors, which we naturally made, are part of development, especially in the case of young players. We want to follow this path and have to accept that we will make mistakes in doing so. 

Bayer 04 Leverkusen visit BORUSSIA-PARK this weekend for our first home game of the new season. What do you expect from the opposition?

Virkus: In my opinion, Bayer 04 Leverkusen are perhaps the team with the most potential in the Bundesliga aside from FC Bayern. They have once again improved a team that was already strong with good transfers, since they have brought in experience and quality. If they can constantly produce that amount of power on the pitch, then they could realistically threaten Bayern from my point of view. We are undoubtedly going into the game as underdogs. That’s simply how it is. However, this role can sometimes be helpful and we will definitely have chances to cause them problems. 

Two players are returning to Mönchengladbach in the form of Granit Xhaka and Jonas Hoffman. Will there still be an official farewell for Jonas?

Virkus: Both are outstanding players, who produced top performances for us for a number of years. They are former Gladbach players and we should welcome them respectfully as a result even if they are our opponents on the pitch. We said goodbye to Granit at a private visit at BORUSSIA-PARK. With Jonas, we haven’t yet had an opportunity to do so, which is why we are going to bid farewell to him before the game on Saturday. That goes without saying for me. 

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Virkus: “The team wants to and is able to fight”

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