Dominick Drexler on improving team chemistry, dealing with expectations and fighting for places
Dominick Drexler and his teammates have just completed two intensive weeks of training, and the midfielder thinks that they have done him the world of good. “I’m feeling really good, and I don’t have any pains anywhere,” said Drexler, who missed two weeks of actions after suffering a flesh wound during the 1-0 win over Hannover before returning to the starting XI and playing the full 90 minutes against SV Darmstadt 98 last time out.
The team have used the international break as a chance to work on team chemistry, reports Drexler. “Our squad possesses a lot of individual quality,” he commented before adding that the team are getting betting and better after a summer transfer window in which S04 made 16 signings and which saw 30 players depart the club. He also has a message to the teams around them in the league: “There’s still more to come from us, so the others need to keep up their standards if they want to remain above us in the league.”
Coming on as a team week by week
Drexler believes that teams like 1. FC Nürnberg, FC St. Pauli or Jahn Regenburg are already established, well put-together teams. “The head coaches of these sides are able to implement their style of play because their players have a good understanding with each other by their second season. There’s been a real change in personnel here at Schalke as well as at our upcoming opponents Werder Bremen,” added the midfielder. “We’re aiming to develop as a team week by week, so that we all understand each other better too. To achieve this, we’re giving it our all in every training session.”
No one team can dominate the league for all of its 34 games.
Drexler was frustrated that the Royal Blues missed the chance to jump into third place in the table against SV Darmstadt 98, but the 31-year-old knows from experience that nothing is gifted to you in the Bundesliga 2. “We want to win every game, of course we do. But no one team can dominate the league for all of its 34 games,” said the midfielder, who is good at dealing with expectations. “We always feel the pressure. We feel the necessary amount of tension, just like we have done for the last few matches. It’s important that we come out of this somewhat rocky patch as a team and united. We’re all responsible for turning it around.”
Reunion with Anfang and Ducksch
Drexler wants every S04 player to turn it around at the Weserstadion on Saturday (20/11). He knows two of the upcoming opposition at Werder Bremen very well, having played under SVW head coach Markus Anfang at Holstein Kiel, where he also lined up alongside Werder striker Marvin Ducksch, and he linked up with Anfang once again at FC Köln. “Marvin can make the difference in every game he plays,” said Drexler. “But we’ve also got players like that in our squad.”
Drexler is not certain that he will be in the starting line-up for the game in Bremen. “Of course I’m hoping to play, everyone in the squad wants to get on the pitch. You shouldn’t be on the pitch if you don’t really want to be there,” he emphasised. The midfielder sees it as a positive thing that the head coach has many players that can play in Drexler’s position at his disposal, because “competition makes us all step it up.”