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“We want to keep our foot on the gas”


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Fully focused!

RB Leipzig will prepare for the second half of the season in La Manga from 2nd to 7th January. After the lads’ first training session on Wednesday morning, Yussuf Poulsen spoke about the camp, the second half of the season, and much more, 

Here’s what Yussi had to say.

RBL’s winter training camp

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Yussuf Poulsen on…

…the intensity of Wednesday’s session

  • “It’s already our second day here. The session earlier was a bit long, but it went okay. We’ve been off for a fortnight, so it might be a bit tough, but a few tiring sessions is exactly what we need.”


…the training

  • “It’s all about our principles. In Eljif Elmas, we’ve added a new player to our ranks who needs to learn the ropes. We’ve still got players that we signed in summer who need a bit of a refresher of our core ideas and how we want to play against every opponent. “


 …the conditions in La Manga

  • “Firstly, it’s sunny. That’s the first pro. Secondly, it’s good to have a change of scenery. Over the past six months, it felt like we were at Cottaweg every day and that we were travelling a lot in general. The atmosphere here is calm and we can do some stuff off the pitch, too. It’s a real boost.

    The pitches here are good and we’re getting a lot of time together as a team. We can also do a lot of work. Since the start of the season in August, we haven’t really trained; we’ve just played matches.

    We’ve also got a big communal area in the hotel with table football and pool tables. I was also told to bring some board games with me, which I did. We’re pretty well-equipped for when we have some free time.”

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We want to keep our foot on the gas and build on our performances from the first half of the campaign.
Yussuf Poulsen on the aims for the second half of the season

Yussuf Poulsen on…

…the first few days without Emil Forsberg

  • “He didn’t normally train for the first few days anyway, since he was usually injured (laughs). But seriously, we miss him already. We’re only going to notice little by little, since Emil was a big voice in the dressing room and an ever-present. But that’s football, things change. Now, we have to keep going.”


…the new hierarchy within the team after Forsberg’s departure

  • “I think that its importance is overestimated. That being said, we’ve lost a great player with a lot of quality. Emil had to ability to decide any game at any time. There aren’t many others who can do that. We’re going to miss it, of course, as well as his presence in the dressing room.”


…his role for the younger players

  • “I’ve been a point of reference for the younger players for a long time, so things aren’t going to change now. I’m a bit older, but the role is the same. Obviously, in Emil, we’ve lost someone who had a lot of experience, for example, in expanding on the basics we practise in training, since he’d internalised them over the years.

    That being said, we’ve got new players now who can and will to fill these roles, and we’re giving them more opportunities to do so.”

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Yussuf Poulsen on…

…the main focus ahead of the second half of the season

  • “If you look at the first half of the season, we dropped points against teams that sat back. We had a lot of possession in those games, but didn’t have enough space to play our style of football. Now, we’re working on being able to find solutions in matches like that.” 


…the aims for the rest of the campaign

  • “The first half of the season isn’t over just yet. We want to keep our foot on the gas. We could reach the 36-point mark. If we build on our performances from the first six months or so, we’ll be in a good spot and things will stay exciting until the end of the year.

    We also aren’t going to roll over against Real Madrid. In the group stage, we really tested Manchester City, the best team last year, in our two matches. On both occasions, we were close to getting a result. Why wouldn’t we be able to play like that against Real Madrid?”

Yussuf Poulsen on…

…new arrival Eljif Elmas and his strengths

  • “I’ve watched him play a few times and one of my Denmark teammates has played with him. We’ve lost two players in his position, which means he’ll play an important role from the start.

    Obviously, it’s just training, but he definitely has a lot of the qualities that we need. We’re happy he’s here.”


…the team spirit

  • “At this point in time, we’re definitely extremely close to the best it can be. That’s why I don’t think it’s an area for improvement. We work very well together as a group and all get along with each other.

    We take things seriously when they need to be taken seriously, and we relax when things calm down a bit. We don’t have to work a lot on the team spirit we’ve showed in the first half of the season.”

“We want to keep our foot on the gas”

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