Dimitrios Grammozis: Heading to Regensburg to play our game
FC Schalke 04 will travel to face SSV Jahn Regensburg on Saturday (21/8) at 13:00 CEST. Regensburg are currently top of the table, having won all three of their games so far without conceding. Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis isn’t taking the upcoming opponents lightly, but added that “We are FC Schalke 04 and we are heading to Regensburg to play our game.”
In order to do that, it will be important for the Royal Blues to maintain a consistent performance over the full 90 minutes. “We will need to play our game for the full 90 minutes, not like in the recent 1-1 draw against Erzgebirge Aue, where we only managed it for 60 minutes,” said Grammozis. Despite having to only settle for a point last time out, the 43-year-old has witnessed an ongoing development from his side. “We now want to take another step forward in Regensburg,” he said.
Up against a well-rehearsed side
Grammozis described Regensburg as a “well-rehearsed side that act as a unit. Their style of play features a lot of intense running, as they try to counter quickly via long balls over the defence. They also try to build out from the back. Their points haul so far proves that they are on the right path.”
We know that every opponent in the second division will pose a challenge for us. But, we need to focus on ourselves.
Instead of focusing on the opponent’s style of play, Grammozis is more occupied with his own side. “We know that every opponent in the second division will pose a challenge for us. But, we need to focus on ourselves,” he said. “I have the utmost confidence in us, and we are a great team.”
The Royal Blues will have another attacking option to choose from this weekend, after Darko Churlinov joined the club on loan. Grammozis is pleased to have the North Macedonia international in his team, as he had been impressed by the 21-year-old’s talents for a while now. “I’ve been keeping an eye on him for a while now and know him from my time at the U19s coach at VfL Bochum,” Grammozis said. “We faced Darko on a number of occasions there, as he scored a lot of goals for 1. FC Köln in the U19 Bundesliga West and made a very positive impression. After that, I kept a close eye on him which is why I’m 100% convinced that Darko will improve our team.” Whether Churlinov will feature in Regensburg already, remains to be seen. As usual, the head coach is waiting to see how the final training session goes before making any decisions about the matchday squad.
Hoppe could return to the squad
Matthew Hoppe could also return to team training this week. The Gold Cup winner has been out with the stomach flu since his return from the tournament, but should return to team training before the team depart for Regensburg this weekend. “Matthew has been training individually recently and is on the right path. He could be an option to make the squad,” said Grammozis.
Michael Langer is also available for selection again, after having recovered from a head injury he picked up in training two weeks ago. Grammozis didn’t say whether the Austrian would be part of the squad to face Regensburg. “Ralf Fährmann is our number one. I will decide who our back-up goalkeeper will be, based on the training sessions,” Grammozis said. “I’m happy to have a strong trio of goalkeepers to choose from in Ralle, Michi and Martin Fraisl.”