Dimitrios Grammozis: Get lots of players into their box

After winning 2-0 away at Hansa Rostock last Saturday, the Royal Blues are looking to go into the international break on the back of another victory as they take on FC Ingolstadt 04 this Sunday (3/10, 13:30 CEST).

Dimitrios Grammozis

“Our first-half performance at Rostock definitely wasn’t our best, but you can’t fault the team for the fight they showed,” said head coach Dimitrios Grammozis. “That’s the basis for having success in the second division. You have to look to win balls back by tackling hard and remaining compact, which will take the fight out of the opponents,” he added. The coach was particularly pleased with the news that more than 25,000 fans can attend home games in future weeks. “Having even more fans in the ground will be fantastic. I’ve already enjoyed the experience with 25,000 – even more fans in the arena will push us on even more to a positive result.”

Grammozis will most likely need to make at least one change to the team that picked up all three points at the Ostseestadion. Dreis Wouters rolled his ankle in training this week and is unlikely to be fit for Ingolstadt, although team doctor Dr. Patrick Ingelfinger believes he will recover fairly quickly from the injury. “It’s a shame because he provided us with stability and security from the first minute in Rostock,” commented Grammozis. He revealed that Ko Itakura and Florian Flick were two possible alternatives to replace Wouters in defensive midfield, with Victor Pálsson serving the final game of his two-match suspension after being sent off against Karlsruhe.

Terodde should be fit

Things are looking better for Simon Terodde, who suffered a knock to his calf in the win at Rostock. “He completed one of two sessions on Wednesday, but was able to give it 100%,” reported Grammozis. The coach believed that the striker, who could equal Dieter Schatzschneider’s all-time 2. Bundesliga goalscoring record on Sunday, should be able to train normally on Friday. Another option for the squad could be new signing Marc Rzatkowski. The midfielder featured last weekend for the U23s as he searches for match fitness. “The cooperation with our U23s is working really well,” stressed Grammozis, who was pleased that Rzatkowski could get 45 minutes under his belt after no football in a long time.

I believe that the back-three is the most sensible option in order for us to remain compact at the back.

Dimitrios Grammozis

Ingolstadt have replaced their head coach Roberto Pätzold with André Schubert since the last matchday, meaning that Grammozis and his coaching team will focus on Schalke’s game more because of how hard it will be to predict FCI’s tactics and approach for Sunday under new management. “We need to play our own game,” demanded Grammozis. “I believe that the back-three is the most sensible option in order for us to remain compact at the back. The 43-year-old wants both strikers, the two box-to-box midfielders and in some cases, the full-backs to get forward into the box – just like Mehmet Can Aydin did for the second goal in Rostock. “It’s hard for the opposition to defend when you get all these players into their box.”

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