Thomas Reis: Need to keep a cool head

After last weekend’s long-awaited 2-1 home win against VfB Stuttgart, the Royal Blues are looking for a repeat this Saturday against VfL Bochum (4/3, 15:30 CET). A win would be enough for them to leapfrog their neighbours in the table.

“It’s a very important game. Everyone knows what the situation in the table is—both teams need the points,” said head coach Thomas Reis. The 49-year-old is not unsettled by the fact that he will come up against his former club this weekend. “Everything that’s being written in the lead-up to the game is part of it, but I’m not too worried. I’m looking forward to being back and want to be successful with my team,” he said. 

It’s a tight space and can become very loud and hectic. It will come down to whoever manages to keep a cool head.

Thomas Reis

The coach knows what it takes to compete against the home crowd in Bochum and has made sure to prepare his team for it. “It’s a tight space and can become very loud and hectic. It will come down to whoever manages to keep a cool head,” Reis said, adding that his side know not to expect “a warm welcome” from the fans there. Despite this fixture pitting two Ruhr clubs against each other, Reis is hoping for there to be a “peaceful atmosphere” both in and outside of the stadium this weekend. 

Brunner available again, Kozuki a doubt

Reis will be able to include Cedric Brunner in the matchday squad again this weekend. The defender had missed the game against Stuttgart after suffering a nasal bone fracture, and has trained wearing a protective mask this week. Soichiro Kozuki remains a doubt for Saturday’s match after dealing with an ankle issue. 

The head coach emphasised that his side will need to be alert against a Bochum team that have won five of their last six Bundesliga home games. “We know how dangerous they can be. They are a very dynamic side and in striker Philipp Hofmann, they have a striker who they can look to play long balls to,” Reis said. Schalke are also warned to look out for VfL’s build-up play, which often includes long balls forward from goalkeeper Manuel Riemann. 

Everyone is give it everything they have and everyone is looking forward to this game!

Thomas Reis

However, Reis also knows which weak spots can be exploited against this weekend’s opponents. “They have conceded the most goals of any team in the league and have failed to convert several clear-cut chances,” he said. “We want to take advantage of that.” Reis added that he is expecting it to be a hard-fought game, but “We need to be prepared to resist.” Last weekend’s win against Stuttgart took a load off the player’s shoulders, he said, leading to a more relaxed mood within the team. However, they remain fully focused on the upcoming challenge, with Reis saying: “Everyone is give it everything they have and everyone is looking forward to this game.” 

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