Dimitrios Grammozis: Every single fan gives us a boost

25,000 fans will cheer on the Royal Blues on Saturday at home against Hansa Rostock (5/3, 13:30 CET). Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis is looking forward to an increased capacity, but will definitely be without four players. Meanwhile, a decision on Thomas Ouwejan’s fitness is yet to be made.

Dimitrios Grammozis

Dong-gyeong Lee remains unavailable after fracturing his metatarsal, whilst Mehmet Can Aydin, Andreas Vindheim and Michael Langer are all completing rehabilitation training on the way back from their respective injuries. It’s not yet clear whether or not Thomas Ouwejan can play. “He felt something during a sprint at the end of the Karlsruhe game,” revealed Grammozis. “We’ll see how he feels today and tomorrow and then make a decision for the Hansa Rostock game.”

Find the right balance against a team strong on the break

Grammozis hasn’t decided on his starting XI with two training sessions to go. The S04 head coach revealed that he had gone with Florian Flick as the defensive midfielder recently “because we felt that he contributes more to our play with the ball. Victor Pálsson gave us more defensive stability on many occasions before this.” According to the 43-year-old, it’s important that the team finds the right balance. “We can’t underestimate them and just throw everyone forward. They’ve got lads that are good on the counter and we need to make sure we have enough bodies to cover that,” said Grammozis, who wants his side to build on their strong home form recently, having collected 13 of a possible 15 points across the last five matches at the VELTINS-Arena. He pointed out how quickly the table can change, just like in the first half of the season when Schalke defeated each of their next four opponents.

We’re playing in front of 25,000 fans at home. Every single fan will give us a boost.

Dimitrios Grammozis

Grammozis described this weekend’s visitors as a side that relies on their commitment and desire, whilst they look to remain compact too. “John Verhoek is a centre forward that can not only hold the ball up, but also get into dangerous positions to score. They’ve got a good mix in their team,” reported Grammozis, who is preparing for a hard-fought game, in which the home fans can play their part too: “We’re playing in front of 25,000 fans at home. Every single fan will give us a boost.”


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