Christian Heidel: Moaning will solve nothing

It would be safe to say that a team couldn’t be any more unlucky with injuries than Schalke right now. Breel Embolo, Mark Uth, Steven Skrzybski and Franco Di Santo were all ruled out of the derby, while Guido Burgstaller had to be taken off in the first half. Cedric Teuchert, the only striker on the bench, is still not 100% fit after his injury and has only trained two or three times.

Christian Heidel

“Having to play a central midfielder in Weston McKennie and a left-back in Hamza Mendyl up front by the end, shows how bad our situation is right now”, said Christian Heidel.

The sporting director doesn’t want to use this injury crisis as an excuse for the 2-1 defeat to Dortmund though. “We have to accept the situation. Moaning about it will solve nothing,” explained the 55-year-old. Heidel is also of the opinion that the team put in a decent performance yesterday. “Obviously going 1-0 behind early on wasn’t the kind of start we had hoped for. I think we fought back well and mainly played well at the back.”

Touch and go until their second goal

At the end of the day, BVB probably deserved to win the game according to Heidel. “It was touch and go until they made it 2-1. We came out after the break well and got our equaliser. After conceding the second goal, it was very difficult for us. We have to be honest and admit that they played superbly well at the end,” said Heidel. Nevertheless, Heidel was still frustrated with the way the second goal was conceded. “The goal came from a mistake in our midfield and unfortunately we were punished for it.”

The derby must quickly be forgotten about and the team needs to move on, as they are back in action on Tuesday (11/12) against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League. “We still want to win the game, regardless of the fact that we are already in the last 16,” said Heidel. “We have a few ideas of who could play up front and will look at giving a chance to some of our strikers from the academy. We are unsure of how long Guido Burgstaller will be out for. If Steven Skrzybski had been able to play in the derby, then we would have put him in the squad.”

Heidel is hoping that both attackers will be available for the next Bundesliga fixture in Augsburg (Saturday, 15/12). “We are all aware of our position in the table, so we know how important this next game will be,” he explained. “We only have 14 points and are at the wrong end of the table – we want to start climbing it as soon as possible.”