Daniel Caligiuri: The whole team won today's game, not me!
Domenico Tedesco was satisfied with the win, but also explained how he wasn’t happy with the first-half performance. VfL coach Bruno Labbadia felt that his side should have taken something from the game. Daniel Caligiuri, who scored twice, and Mark Uth, who returned from a long-term injury, also gave their thoughts.
Our plan in the first half was to have the ball and make our opponents do the running – but the opposite happened. We knew that Wolfsburg are good at pressing, so we had planned not to lose the ball so quickly. They stifled our play a lot, so we changed system after half an hour, which helped and gave us more control.
In the second half it was a completely different story. We defended higher up the pitch and played well on the ball despite their pressure. As a result, I think we deserved to win. It wasn’t an easy decision to change the keeper. We know what Ralf Fährmann brings – as a keeper and as a person. That will not change. “Ralf had been a bit uncertain recently. We had a feeling that his mind wasn’t clear. As well as that, Alex Nübel has looked good when he’s played and has trained well. When we considered all of that, we decided to play Alex.
We began the game well and had two great chances early on. After the penalty, the lads were a bit shaken, but they dealt with going behind really well. We had full control of the game and let Schalke do the running. Our equaliser was therefore well-deserved. In the second half they improved and we lost possession on too many occasions – which they took advantage of. Despite that we had the chance to go ahead. Our positioning wasn’t good enough for their winning goal. It’s a shame, as I think we had a chance to take something from today’s game.
Based on the second half, we deserved to win. The key to today’s victory was how aggressively we played when we didn’t have possession of the ball. We fought hard for a successful result today and showed good mentality. We were too passive in the opening stages and didn’t have enough possession. It was consequently an easy game for Wolfsburg at times. We also changed formation to a back three after around half an hour and this paid to our advantage. We wanted to start the second half in the way we finished the first. I was annoyed during the match because I had two shots on my left foot and neither of them went in. However, as they say, all good things come in threes! I am actually right footed but I can also shoot on my left foot. We secured all three points today not just because of my two goals, it was a complete team performance. The whole team won today’s game!
We are relieved to have started 2019 with a win. It was great to be back on the pitch after almost ten weeks out. I desperately wanted to win this game and we did! We were aggressive and hassled them well. After the break they hardly had any chances and we played some good football. Now we need to build on the win and the good performance. Friday’s game in Berlin will be another difficult game – but we are up for the challenge. We want to take something from the capital!