Daniel Caligiuri: The game brought us together more as a team

With his two assists, Daniel Caligiuri contributed heavily to the win against FC Augsburg at the WWK Arena last Sunday (3/11/19). The 31-year-old knows that the team didn’t put in a good performance in the first half, but he praised the team’s mentality and character.

“We never gave up and we threw everything at them. When you go down by a goal twice then still manage to turn it around and get a win, you can truly say the victory was earned,” said the midfielder after the 3-2 victory in Augsburg. “The game brought us together more as a team because we had to show character and a good mentality,” elaborated Caligiuri, who also spoke of his “huge shock” at being substituted on early for the badly injured Salif Sane.

Playing much better after the changes

David Wagner’s side did not start off well in this game and struggled to create many chances especially in the first 45 minutes, which was in contrast to the home side who created plenty of chances and looked dangerous. “We were too passive and didn’t get stuck in enough,” analysed Caligiuri. Thanks to the changes made by the coach, the team looked much better in the second half and had plenty of possession.

During the game I try to visualise myself in spaces where I can be the most dangerous.

Daniel Caligiuri

Despite their chances from open play, Schalke took the lead twice from set-pieces. In the first minute of added time in the first half, Caligiuri sent in a free-kick from the left side where Augsburg’s Stephan Lichtsteiner scored an own goal with an accidental header in to the far corner. In the second half it was Caligiuri again who lofted the ball in to the penalty area for Ozan Kabak to nod home, signalling the first two set-piece assists of the season for Caligiuri. “It doesn’t matter who gets the assists, as long as we get the three points,” said the midfield man, who explained that he works on his free kick taking every week. “During the game I try to visualise myself in spaces where I can be the most dangerous,” said the German-Italian.

After the team came away with a victory despite a very strong showing from their opponents, they can now carry plenty of self-belief in to the coming fixtures. Caligiuri: “We now go in to the next home game with the wind at our backs.”

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