Dimitrios Grammozis: Be self-critical, focus on what's ahead and deliver a better performance

FC Schalke 04 have one aim in mind as they get set to welcome SC Paderborn 07 to the VELTINS-Arena on Friday night (18/2, 18:30 CET): picking up all three points. 10,000 fans will be able to attend the match against SCP, who have proven to be a real force on the road this term. “We want to show a different side to our game than we did in Düsseldorf recently,” said Dimitrios Grammozis, adding “I’m confident that we will be able to do so.”

Dimitrios Grammozis

Both the team and the coaching staff were preoccupied with the disappointing performance in the 2-1 loss against Fortuna last weekend. “We were miles away from what we expect to see from ourselves. We worked on that and have addressed it,” said the head coach. “As a whole, we just weren’t good enough. It wasn’t just one or two players who didn’t perform to their best, but rather the entire team. It was a complete breakdown, and it’s difficult to understand how that could happen.”

Unfortunately, those are the kinds of days you experience sometimes in football, and it happens to other teams as well.

Dimitrios Grammozis

According to the 43-year-old, this was extremely frustrating. However, he added that “Unfortunately, those are the kinds of days you experience sometimes in football, and it happens to other teams as well. It’s important that we draw the right lessons from it, are self-critical and focus on what’s ahead. After we had finished our analysis, then that was it. Our full focus in training this week was on the upcoming home game against Paderborn.”

Paderborn still unbeaten away from home

SCP are currently in ninth place, and are still unbeaten away from home in 2021/22. Head coach Lukas Kwasniok’s side have won six of their 10 away games, drawing the remaining four. “Paderborn are a team who are strong on the road,” Grammozis said. “They play a very direct style of football, even if they haven’t managed to pick up as many points lately as they might have wanted to.” Despite a strong start to the campaign, SCP have picked up just seven points from their last eight league matches.

Schalke’s upcoming opponents also lost their top scorer this term on the final day of the winter transfer window. Sven Michel (14 goals, 8 assists) left the club to move to 1. FC Union Berlin. However, the team still has other players in their ranks who pose a threat in front of goal, with Grammozis naming Kai Pröger and former Royal Blue Felix Platte as examples. Grammozis had coached the latter at SV Darmstadt 98 just two years ago. Overall, Paderborn’s squad have “a lot” of quality, according to Grammozis.

Pálsson a doubt, Drexler and Latza back in training

The 43-year-old then shifted the focus to his own side, discussing their focused efforts during training this past week. He is yet to make a decision on how the team will line up on Friday night, with several players still in doubt. “Victor Pálsson picked up a knock to the thigh. We will have to wait and see with him, and it could be close,” Grammozis said. Malick Thiaw has also been sidelined with a patellar tendon issue recently. However, he is since on his way back to full fitness and was able to take part in team training again.

We are waiting for our final training session and will then decide which players will be included in our matchday squad.

Dimitrios Grammozis

Danny Latza has also returned to team training after undergoing surgery on his appendix at the end of January. Meanwhile, Dominick Drexler was able to end his self-isolation the day before the Düsseldorf game. It remains to be seen whether or not the duo will feature against Paderborn. “Both have been able to complete the majority of training, and were even able to contest challenges,” said Grammozis. “We are waiting for our final training session and will then decide which players will be included in our matchday squad.”

Mehmet Can Aydin (thigh injury), Andreas Vindheim (calf muscle injury) and Michael Langer (rehab after tearing his ACL) will all miss this weekend’s match through injury.

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