“Test ourselves against the best”

VfL-Wolfsbugr-Trainer Niko Kovac in der Volkswagen Arena.

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After four competitive games without a win, VfL Wolfsburg’s quest to return to winning ways doesn’t get much easier when they take on RB Leipzig on Saturday 18 February (kick-off 15:30 CET). At the press conference ahead of the game, head coach Niko Kovac answered questions on…

… VfL’s approach: “It’s important for us to try to manage the game the way we want to against another strong opponent, which isn’t going to be easy. If we want to climb the table, we need to win the game. If we want to stay where we are at the moment, we also need to win the game. It’s another tough task – similar to the one against Bayern Munich. We just need to be more effective, just like we were in our first two games after the World Cup break.”

… the race for Europe: “I think it’s still too early [to think about that]. We’re obviously playing against our direct rivals. We want to make sure we stay in contention as long as possible, but I don’t think the next five games are decisive – there’s too much of the season left for that. But we do need to pick up points to stay involved.”

… Christopher Nkunku’s return to the RB squad: “We’ll have to see if Nkunku is able to start tomorrow after such a long time. We want to test ourselves against the best – and Leipzig have a lot of them. Even if [Nkunku] ends up being one of them, we still want to try to get the points.”

… how to counter Leipzig’s strengths: “Leipzig are enjoying a lot of success under Marco Rose. They were very, very unfortunate to lose their last game despite putting in a good performance. Leipzig’s strengths undoubtedly lie in their transition game – we can’t let them play that way and need to stop it. We can’t afford to give the ball away cheaply and have to get men behind the ball quickly. When we have the ball, we need to play the way we have been: with the confidence, conviction, togetherness and simplicity that has set us apart. The be-all and end-all is putting away the chances that you’re hopefully able to create.”

… personnel: “Micky van de Ven is fit again. All the others are fine physically, but we do have two players who are a bit ill: Kevin Paredes won’t be involved and we’ll have to wait and see with ‘Kuba’ Kaminski, but it’s going to be difficult.”

“Test ourselves against the best”

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