Rouven Schröder: Everybody is working together towards the same goal
Rouven Schröder has been increasingly asked questions like “what would happen if?” and “have you already planned for?” recently, with his answer always the same: “We haven’t achieved anything yet!” Schalke’s sporting director would rather not speak about the future and results from other grounds. Instead, his full focus is on S04’s match on Saturday at home (7/5, 20:30 CEST). “We’re just concentrating on ourselves and how we can beat St. Pauli,” stressed the 46-year-old.
Schröder is full of respect for this weekend’s opponents, even with their long list of absentees (a number of first-team players have tested positive for Covid-19 and are in quarantine). “St. Pauli will still have a strong team,” said S04’s sporting director. “Nobody should be expecting a team that will just roll over and congratulate us for anything. It won’t be a makeshift side, they will have enough quality and experience even with their absentees.”
Nobody should be expecting a team that will just roll over and congratulate us for anything.
For Schröder, it’s important that Schalke focus on themselves. “We need to think about our own game and get the job done ourselves.” The mental side of things will be important according to Schröder. “Nothing has been handed to us on a plate this season. We’ve had highs and lows and we’ve had to work hard for everything,” said Schröder. “We’ve been obviously delighted when we’ve won games like the Sandhausen one last time out. Despite that, we cannot afford to get too excited – and the lads haven’t been. At the same time, we’ve remained composed after setbacks and kept our heads up.”
Praise for the fans and the team spirit
The 46-year-old is well aware of how happy the fans are after the 2-1 win over Sandhausen. “I don’t want to dampen their spirits, quite the opposite in fact.” He wants the fans to continue supporting the players brilliantly as they have done over the past few months. “It’s important that the players know that the season isn’t over yet and we haven’t achieved anything yet. Buyo will find the right balance to prepare the lads as best he can for the game.”
Schröder isn’t worried about any of the players not taking the game seriously enough. He feels that there is a good team spirit and the squad has a number of good characters. “Our squad, which we completely overhauled in the summer, quickly grew close together. Nobody in the squad takes themselves too seriously and everybody is working together towards the same goal.”