Dimitrios Grammozis: Assert ourselves and get into goalscoring positions

FC Schalke 04 will travel over 500 kilometres this Saturday to take on Hansa Rostock in their away fixture (kick off 20:30 CEST). The Royal Blues will want to bounce back at the Ostseestadion, following the unfortunate defeat last time out against Karlsruher SC. Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis highlighted the importance of being alert from the first minute, while at the same time having more action in front of the opposition goal than in the previous game.

Dimitrios Grammozis

“We need to assert ourselves and get into the goalscoring positions,” said Grammozis ahead of the evening kick off, where the coach is expecting a fiery atmosphere. “I got to experience a few games at the Ostseestadion during my playing career. We cannot shy away from the emotions of the occasion. We need to soak up and enjoy the whole thing. The fact that it will be an evening game will make the atmosphere even more intense than an afternoon kick off.”

Grammozis emphasised transition play as a strength of Rostock’s game, while also adding that set pieces can provide a route to goal for Saturday’s opponents. “We know about Rostock’s qualities, but it’s about bringing our game. We’re going into the match with the aim of winning in no uncertain terms. If we show what we can do, I’m very positive that we can take three points back to Gelsenkirchen.”

If we show what we can do, I’m very positive that we can take three points back to Gelsenkirchen.

Dimitrios Grammozis

The 43-year-old is pleased with training in the run-up to the game. The training week began with a look back at the 2-1 defeat to Karlsruhe. “Some of the players didn’t show what they were capable of. It’s important that we speak about the mistakes clearly as a group, and then try to do them better in training and in future games,” said the head coach. “Against KSC, we conceded a corner really early on, from which we went behind. That can’t happen. We have to defend set pieces better.” Grammozis said the team must be more attacking. “Our build-up play against Karlsruhe was good, but we didn’t have enough dangerous situations. The boys have to become more dangerous and have more play in the box. We’ve worked on our routes forwards.”

Several options for the 6 role

Blendi Idrizi and Salif Sané are ruled out of the game in Rostock due to knee problems, while the game comes too soon for captain Danny Latza after his LCL injury. Victor Pálsson is suspended following his red card against Karlsruhe. A decision has not yet been made on who will play in the deeper central midfield role. “We have several options and of course, a few different ideas, but we want to see what happens in the final few training sessions. I also don’t want to reveal too much to my opposite number at Rostock.”

A new face in camp is Marc Rzatkowski. The midfielder signed a contract until the end of the season a few days ago. Grammozis said that the 31-year-old has made a good first impression. “Marc’s in physically good shape,” said Grammozis, before adding that the midfielder is aware that “match practice is a completely different thing. He has to get up to speed with that as quickly as possible. Marc is an experienced player, so I’m sure that he’ll manage it in a short amount of time and will definitely help us.” It is still unknown whether the new arrival will travel with the squad on the weekend.

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