Dimitrios Grammozis: We want to give our fans a home win

FC Schalke 04 will face Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday (20:30 CEST) in a North-Rhine-Westfalia derby, with 25,000 fans in the VELTINS-Arena. The Royal Blues will seek to add three points to their tally against Fortuna. “We want to give our fans the gift of a first home win,” said head coach Dimitrios Grammozis.

Dimitrios Grammozis

Coach Grammozis emphasised that there has to be a big change from the 4-1 loss in Regensburg if the plan of earning three points is to be achieved – Grammozis and his team started to analyse the defeat as soon as they got on the train back to Gelsenkirchen. “The amount of duels and one-on-ones we won was nowhere near as high as we wanted. From that, we gave Regensburg chances over and over again. Furthermore, we conceded easy goals from set pieces,” Grammozis explained.

It doesn’t make sense to change every cog in the machine, but we do still have to live up to our expectations.

Dimitrios Grammozis

The fact that the fans were unhappy after the game was absolutely understandable. “We are also disappointed,” said Grammozis. However, you can’t simply go overboard and change everything, as “We need time to acclimatise to our situation. It doesn’t make sense to change every cog in the machine, but we do still have to live up to our expectations. I’m convinced that we can change and improve against Düsseldorf.”

German-Greek head coach Grammozis analysed and discussed the mistakes made in Regensburg with the team after the game: “We had some honest discussions after the game, from both our side as coaches and the players’ side. They admitted themselves that they did not show themselves well.” This self-criticism is important for us to improve for the next tests, said Grammozis.

Both teams want to get back to winning ways

Grammozis described the upcoming game with Fortuna as a “challenge,” as “they want to get back on the path to success as much as we do”. The Rhineland team have collected four points from their opening four 2. Bundesliga games, the same as the Royal Blues. Despite this, however, the head coach is aware of the threat that Fortuna pose. “Düsseldorf always look to create chances. With Rouwen Jennings, they have an absolute goal machine in their ranks.” There are also several players in the Fortuna squad who can cause problems on the wings.

The coach of the Royal Blues trusts the quality of his team, who have trained well in the preceding week. “We had good sessions. Now we want to put the finishing touches on our game so we can be at our best on Saturday,” said Grammozis. Blendi Idrizi (knee) and Kerim Calhanoglu (thigh) didn’t take part in training during the week. The duo were also not in the squad in Regensburg.

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