Danny Latza: You can see what a good group we have here

Danny Latza had barely been on the pitch six minutes when he latched onto Marvin Pieringer’s cross to score against Aue on Saturday (22.01). Just 12 minutes later, the half-time substitute headed in for his second. It was the first time since 2016 that Latza had scored twice in a game – back then he bagged a hat-trick for 1. FSV Mainz 05 against Hamburger SV.

Danny Latza

“I got into the game well and was in the right position for the first goal,” said Latza, looking back at his 51st-minute strike. Marvin Pieringer won the ball back well and found the midfielder with a cross from the right, who then finished from just outside the six-yard box for his third goal for Schalke. “The pass was weighted perfectly,” said Latza, full of praise for the assist, just as he was for the man who assisted his second to make it 4-0. “I knew that Andreas Vindheim puts in a good cross,” mentioned Latza, who converted the Norwegian’s ball in with his head. “I told Marius Bülter to go for the front post so I’d have a bit more space,” explained the 32-year-old, who headed back across the goalkeeper perfectly. “Then I just had to finish it.”

Celebrated by his teammates

Latza’s joy at the final whistle, both at his own performance and that of the team, was clear to see. “I have suffered a few setbacks this season so the goals feel even better,” said the player born in Gelsenkirchen, who wants to build on the weekend’s success in the coming games. His teammates were also overjoyed for Latza after his goals at the Erzgebirgsstadion. “I think everyone was happy for me because they know I was going through a tough time because of injury,” said Schalke’s number eight. “You can see what a good group we have here.”

We’re a team, and it’s about Schalke 04 not individuals.

Danny Latza

He wasn’t frustrated not to start against Aue, because for him it is about the big picture. “You have to put your ego to one side. We’re a team, and it’s about Schalke 04 not individuals,” stressed Latza. “We have a goal and sometimes you have to take a step back.”

Big win could be important for goal difference

Goal difference could be decisive come the end of the season as Schalke look to achieve their goal, making the scoreline against Aue all the more important. Only league leaders Darmstadt boast a better goal difference than the Royal Blues. “We had the opportunity to score a lot of goals, and it was important that we did that,” said Latza, explaining that they can now use the international break to have a little breather. “After that our focus will be fully on the next game.”

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