Alexander Nübel: We have enough quality players
The 3-2 win over Augsburg last Sunday a victory of wills, the importance of which the players had emphasised and coaches before kick-off. S04 completed the comeback against Augsburg in the dying embers of the game after having fallen behind twice and in spite of the shock injury to Salif Sané. Alexander Nübel once again stressed how important the centre back is to the team.
“Salif is a huge player for our team and was in top form. His is injury is really tough for us”, said the Schalke captain. The 23-year-old is wise beyond his years and understands that “unfortunately, things like this happen in football.” Nübel went on to explain that Schalke have a big squad and there is good cover for absences like those of Sané or Stambouli.
The more orders I give as a goalkeeper, the easier it is for my teammates
One of those in line to step up is Ozan Kabak. “He has performed well in both of the last two game”, Nübel said about the 19-year-old defender. “The more game time he gets, the better he will gel with the team”, Nübel is sure that he will show just how he can help his teammates in front of him, even without the ball. “We talk to each other a lot on the pitch, which is very important. The more orders I can give as a goalkeeper, the easier it is for the rest of the team.”
Since Matija Nastasic was unable to play the game against Augsburg due to some Achilles tendon complaints, Weston McKennie played in central defence following Salif Sané’s injury – an unfamiliar position for the American. “Weston played in the back four for the first time, which was a change for him,” said Nübel, who is certain that other players in McKennie’s position in midfield will be successful if he had to help out in defence again. “We have enough quality players with the ball.”
Nübel’s aim: A clean sheet against Düsseldorf
Even the fact that the Royal Blues lost 4-0 against Düsseldorf in the VELTINS-Arena last year isn’t an omen for Nübel, who isn’t scared. “We are in a new season, you can see that very clearly in the way we play our game,” says the confident captain, after a successful start to the season, who will strive for a clean sheet against Düsseldorf, like every other game. “My ambition is to have kept as many clean sheets as possible by the end of the season – if we can succeed in this effort, then it is the effort of the whole team,” emphasises the Schalke goalkeeper, who can accept conceding if they still win the match. “Of course I prefer to win the match rather than for it to finish goalless. It is increasingly important to me that we take the three points as a team.”