Benito, how were your first 74 competitive minutes for Schalke?
It was a great moment when the coach told me that I was in the starting XI. I was so frustrated that I was unable to play in the DFB-Pokal match the week before, but that match arrived too early for me, and unfortunately that’s just part of football sometimes. Now I am feeling fit again and I’m ready for the challenges ahead. It was great to be back playing again!
You had to receive treatment briefly in the second half. Was the injury causing issues again?
No, don’t worry. I just landed awkwardly and it hurt for a bit. Luckily, I got over it quickly.
I am disappointed, but at the same time I know the season isn’t over just because of a missed chance.
How would you rate your performance?
For my first match, I think it went okay. I did well defensively, although there are improvements to be made going forward. I think that our teamplay will get even better in the coming weeks. We are just getting started.
You were very nearly the watch-winner. What went wrong with that missed opportunity in the 27th minute?
I received the ball, but I also saw my opponent right next to me, so I wanted to get a shot away quickly. Perhaps I was too hasty. With hindsight, I obviously would have dealt with the situation differently. Next time I will stay calm and bury it. Shooting with the inside of my boot would have been better. I am disappointed, but at the same time I know the season isn’t over just because of a missed chance.
Next up are the current German champions and DFB-Pokal winners. Do you feel under more pressure to perform well against Bayern München?
You are under pressure in every game, regardless of the opposition. Bayern are obviously favourites, but you don’t win on paper. Anything is possible in football. We are not going to let ourselves be beaten before kick-off and we will be well prepared. I believe we have a chance!