David Wagner: We didn’t find space in the final third
Despite a strong performance, the Royal Blues slipped to a 2-0 defeat on matchday 8 in Sinsheim. Everybody agreed that the Knappen weren’t clinical enough in the final third.
Hoffenheim deserved to win because they scored two goals and we didn’t. The team that scores the goals wins the game, not the team who plays better. Despite that, it was a good performance away from home for 70 minutes. We played well in the first half and had a lot of chances. Hoffenheim then switched to five at the back after the break. They sat back and played on the counter. We’ve rarely played teams who have sat so deep. Our goal was to get into space in the final third, but we didn’t manage that today. We will learn from this.
We switched things up at the break and sat back more. We knew we get more space the longer the game went on. My team did exactly what I wanted them to do in the second half. Schalke were the best team we have faced so far this season. They were confident on the ball and pressed us well. We had luck on our side today.
We didn’t score, and the goals we conceded could have been avoided. In the first half we played very well and Hoffenheim didn’t look like threatening at all. In the second half we weren’t able to keep our composure. The home side weren’t playing that well, but we needed too many chances. We are disappointed that we were not able to reward ourselves for our performance.
We’ve managed to score in almost every game. Maybe we lack the determination to score in front of the opponents regularly. We had some good opportunities and we played good football, but we were lacking in the final third today. Of course it’s very annoying for us to lose. We should have taken the lead in the first half, and we are all disappointed. Hoffenheim caught us cold twice and scored, but we have to stay positive. We will have more chances but we have to make full use of them. Now it’s time to tick off the game, move on and prepare for the big derby.