Dimitrios Grammozis: 10,000 fans – that makes us want more
Two weeks after the phenomenal 5-0 win away to FC Erzgebirge Aue, the Royal Blues have their next task within sight, a home fixture against SSV Jahn Regensburg on Saturday afternoon (5/2, 13:30 CET). The VELTINS-Arena will be able to host 10,000 fans this weekend, after a short-notice change to the Coronavirus protection measures was introduced.
“Even the 750 fans in the stadium against Kiel made for a good atmosphere, so the fact we’ll have 10,000 there this weekend is another step forward,” said head coach Dimitrios Grammozis, excited to welcome yet more Schalke fans into the VELTINS-Arena. “It makes us want more. It’s not just important for the club and the sport as a whole, but also for the whole of society so that people see that things are returning to normal.”
Lee an option in attack for Saturday
Grammozis will be without a quartet of players for the match against Regensburg – Michael Langer (recovery training), Mehmet Can Aydin (thigh), Dominick Drexler (Covid-19) and Danny Latza (Appendix operation). On a more positive note, deadline day signing Dong-gyeong Lee will be available for selection for the fixture. “Rouven Schröder and I both know that the lad has a lot of quality. We’re all sure he’ll do well for us,” said Grammozis on the 24-year old South Korean. He sees Lee as a flexible attacking player, who “can play both as a number 10 or even further forward. He can also shoot well from the edge of the area, and we’ve been missing a player like that. I’m delighted to have been able to make this transfer a reality,” explained the head coach.
We need to see which players offer us the most in which position, and we’ll put our faith in them.
Grammozis has not yet decided on his starting XI for the game against Regensburg. The 43-year-old highlighted the quality of the current squad as a reason why it’s such a hard decision for him. “We need to see which players offer us the most in which position, and we’ll put our faith in them,” commented Grammozis, who is aware that having good quality on the bench can be decisive in the closing stages of tight matches. “We know we’ve got some players in our squad who, if substituted on, can perform at a high level,” added the head coach.
Grammozis praises Idrizi’s development
Blendi Idrizi has certainly proved his worth in the last few weeks, starting in each of S04’s last four matches. “Blendi is a player who wants to improve every day, he doesn’t need any extra motivation,” Grammozis had good words for the Kosovan international, who was playing for Schalke’s reserves just nine months ago. “He’s determined in his play and always tries to contribute something. He gives us a real energy on the pitch,” continued Grammozis.
Idrizi missed the reverse fixture due to injury, meaning that his memories of that game are none better than that of those who did face SSV last time out at the Jahnstadion, as the Royal Blues suffered a 4-1 defeat back in August 2021. “We didn’t play well last time out, but we’ve grown a lot since then,” said Grammozis, who went on to say that today’s side is much different to the one which played in Regensburg almost six months ago. In order to pick up three points against Jahn, who have an experienced side that has come on well year on year, Schalke will need to play with the “power, decisiveness and dominance” which has been seen in recent weeks. “If we can do that, I’m convinced that we’ll give our opposition a good game,” concluded Grammozis.