Rodrigo Zalazar: Scoring in front of the Nordkurve felt amazing

Head coach Mike Büskens was congratulated twice by his counterpart Christoph Dabrowksi at the post-match press conference – once for his birthday and once for Schalke’s win. Both coaches reflected on the 90 minutes, whilst Florian Flick and match-winner Rodrigo Zalazar also spoke to the media.

Mike Büskens:

It was an intense game against a well-organised side that were dangerous throughout. We were organised ourselves though and had a few chances from deep crosses before Ko Itakura gave us the lead. Going into the break with the lead was important for us. You have to be on it as soon as the second half starts against a team like Hannover 96 and we weren’t. The lads reacted brilliantly to the equaliser. The second goal was a great piece of play by Rodrigo Zalazar.

We ultimately deserved the win, even if it was pretty hectic at the end. One of the reasons for that was that we didn’t take our chances and another one was that Hannover made some attacking changes. Overall, we didn’t allow them many opportunities, although things can always get dangerous from second balls. The team’s character and commitment was spot on today. We’ve got some tough matches coming up in the next few weeks. We’ll attack them head on and full of energy together.

Christoph Dabrowski:

First of all, I’d like to wish Mike Büskens a happy birthday and congratulate him on the win. We’re obviously disappointed because we lost today. Their first goal came at a really bad time for us. We started the second half well but they scored their second goal too soon. Nevertheless, I’m happy with the way we played. We were brave, committed and got stuck in. As a result, I’m confident that we’ll achieve our goals still.

Rodrigo Zalazar:

Scoring a goal in front of the Nordkurve felt amazing. That atmosphere and passion is something really special. I’m really happy that we won this game, it was the reward for a lot of hard work in training this week. Now we need to continue grafting. If we do, we’ll continue to have success.

Florian Flick:

Our aim today was to get the win for Mike Büskens on his birthday and we did just that. We showed character after they equalised and found the perfect response. Moments like that give us a real boost. Not everything can go swimmingly all the time, but we’re a good team and we get the job done together. The atmosphere was unbelievable today. We’ve missed that and we’ve missed the fans.

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