Alex, RB Leipzig were undefeated league leaders going into the match. What do you think the main reasons were that Schalke ended up taking three points back to Gelsenkirchen?
A good attitude and mentality. We have to show these attributes for every Bundesliga game, as it has become much more difficult to win games without them. Therefore, a good mentality is key. In addition, we played some good football. We know what we are capable of and have gained a lot of self-confidence from the last few weeks.
What advice did the coaching staff give you?
We had a plan that worked out very well. We knew how good RB Leipzig are and wanted to end their unbeaten run. The Leipzig players make a lot of aggressive forward runs – and we did just that. That’s why it was an open game. It was of course also very important to take advantage of set pieces, which we did.
You’re obviously very happy when you make an important save – it’s a great feeling!
Salif Sané’s opening goal must have helped ease the team’s nerves…
Definitely. It feels good when you get into a game. It was clear that the Leipzig players wanted to attack wherever possible. There was a lot of space behind their back line because they constantly pushed forward. We took advantage of this space very well with some good counter-attacks, eventually making the score 3-0. It was a deserved victory.
Earlier in the game, Schalke had their keeper to thank. In the 15th minute you made two spectacular saves to deny Emil Forsberg and Marcel Sabitzer.
That’s why I’m here. The first stop was very important, and the second was very lucky. You’re obviously very happy when you make an important save – it’s a great feeling!
You probably didn’t feel so good after conceding then…
Sure, the goal hurts. Especially because if we hadn’t conceded we probably would have kept a clean sheet. It hurts a lot, and I’m sorry to the rest of the team. There were ten minutes to play, and sometimes the game tilts. But we stayed calm and saw out the win. I will look at the goal again and analyse, but I already know what I did wrong.
We want to use the momentum in the next week of training, because everyone is set on getting another good result.
The fans were there for you anyway and helped to strengthen your resolve.
They support us fantastically, and not only me. It was very cool to celebrate with the fans. They always make it a tremendous atmosphere, especially away. We are always happy that the fans are with us.
The victory in Leipzig was Schalke’s fourth in a row. How do you evaluate the situation?
We came here to win the game. We did that. We do not worry about anything else. We are pleased that we are able to bring our good performances to the pitch. It’s a lot of fun on the pitch. We just like to play football every weekend and then approach each game with a clear head. We want to use the momentum in the next week of training, because everyone is set on getting another good result. Our focus now is solely on Köln.