Danny Latza on making his comeback at the perfect moment
The Royal Blues had plenty to celebrate on Saturday evening (23/10), scoring three goals and picking up three points in front of a sold-out crowd at the VELTINS-Arena. Another highlight of the match against Dynamo Dresden came in the 65th minute as Danny Latza made his comeback from injury. The midfielder had been sidelined since suffering a knee injury in the opening match of the season against Hamburger SV.
“I was hoping to get a few minutes of playing time. I didn’t expect to get a full half an hour,” Latza said about making his comeback after being out injured for nearly three months. “It’s been a long time since I’ve last set foot on the pitch.”
The 31-year-old was especially pleased with his side’s 3-0 win, saying “I’m very happy that we took all three points at home and that we kept another clean sheet.” Latza played a role in Schalke achieving this goal, coming on for Yaroslav Mikhailov with half an hour left to go – it was right in that phase of the game where the visitors began to press more and create chances for themselves.
An important factor during a key phase in the match
“As soon as Danny entered the game, you could see that he brought a lot of calm into our game, not only in the manner in which he plays, but also through his presence,” Dimitrios Grammozis said in praise of the captain, who took over the armband from Victor Pálsson after coming on.
“Even under pressure, [Latza] found good solutions, and didn’t get rid of the ball too quickly. Instead, he kept possession and helped build up play,” Grammozis said. “Bringing him on was important in order to achieve a certain stability.”
The volume level was incredible, and the fans really helped carry us.
The midfielder couldn’t have imagined a better moment to make his comeback. “I’m happy to have been able to return. I’m also very happy to have been able to play in front of a full stadium again and that we were able to give the fans this victory,” said Latza, who was able to enjoy the atmosphere within the ground from the bench before. “The crowd were insane. I was sitting next to Memo Aydin, who had never seen it like that before. He was covered in goosebumps. It was an incredible feeling for myself as well.”
As a result, the moments spent celebrating with the fans after the final whistle were also special for Latza and his teammates. “Being able to celebrate with the fans after such a long time away made me both happy and speechless. The volume level was incredible, and the fans really helped carry us. That just gives you that extra motivation.” The team will be looking for a repeat in just a few days’ time, as they travel to face 1860 München in the second round of the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday (26/10, 18:30 CEST).