Dimitrios Grammozis: Winning challenges is the key to success in this division

After wins against Düsseldorf and Paderborn, the Royal Blues are hoping for a third straight victory on Friday (17/9, 18:30 CEST) at home to Karlsruher SC. Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis has the same players available as he did last Sunday – plus potentially another midfielder.

Dimitrios Grammozis

Dominick Drexler, who missed out in Paderborn with a minor knee problem, rejoined team training on Wednesday, completing most parts of the session. “His feedback has been more positive than last week, so I’m carefully optimistic,” reported Grammozis. “We’ll see how the final training session today goes. I hope that he doesn’t suffer any setbacks and will be available for selection.” Another trio suffering from knee injuries will all miss out (Blendi Idrizi, Salif Sané and Danny Latza – the latter has started training individually on the pitch after his MCL injury).

The recent victories have given the Royal Blues a welcome confidence boost. “For me as coach, it’s important to see progress being made. The lads are continuously believing more in their way of playing,” stated Grammozis. This belief, coupled with the positive results recently, should give the team momentum for the coming matchdays ahead of the first home game at the VELTINS-Arena for almost three weeks. “This should provide additional motivation for everyone. We need to create some fireworks here on Friday!”

We need to create some fireworks here on Friday!

Dimitrios Grammozis

The Schalke head coach believes his team has improved since the start of the season. “The game in Paderborn saw a lot of challenges made and it was played at a high intensity. The lads fought really hard and won the majority of duels. This is a big factor if you want to have success in this league,” said Grammozis, who thinks that if his side can remain compact, more chances to score will also come. Patience remains an important factor for success.

Be wary of set-pieces and Hofmann

According to Grammozis, Karlsruhe work together well as a team, and have become stronger after making new signings. “They play well-structured football and want to create chances by playing it about nicely. They’ve got players that can make the difference with their individual quality,” warned Grammozis. One particularly dangerous KSC man is ex-Schalker striker, Philipp Hofmann. “We know that we will have to be especially wary of Hofmann, he’s a real threat in the box.” Another threat the visitors will possess is from set-pieces – which Grammozis has worked on this week in training.  “KSC scored a lot of goals from dead balls last season. Hofmann is a player who always seems to get his head on things despite being marked.”

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