David Wagner: Humble and modest, but still ambitious

Next up for FC Schalke 04 is a trip to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday (7/12, 18:30 CET). The Royal Blues are unbeaten in six games and are currently third in the league table, while Leverkusen are seventh and unbeaten in their last five matches. Their last result was a shock win against the record champions FC Bayern.

David Wagner

As such, David Wagner is full of anticipation for the big game: “It’s an interesting challenge for us and it’s going to be a really exciting game,” said the head coach. “Leverkusen are one of the best teams in the league. They’re playing with confidence at the moment and they’re in great form. They also a huge amount of quality in attack.”

The boss wasn’t just full of praise for the opposition, but also for his own team, who have been piling up the points in recent weeks. Therefore, Wagner is sure that Leverkusen have just as much respect for his boys: “”We’re definitely not the kind of team you would choose to play against,” he said. Moreover, the head coach can see that his team is improving every week: “For example, against Bremen the guys showed that they can learn and that they know how to close out a game.”

We’re definitely not the kind of team you would choose to play against

David Wagner

The table looks good for third-placed Schalke at the moment. “Of course, it’s nice to be where we are after 13 games but it’s not the most important thing. We have to stay humble and modest, but also ambitious,” explained Wagner, before adding that it’s not a contradiction. He expects his team to be hungry every game and to implement the ideas discussed in training. Wagner: “We’ve been doing that well so far.”

Caution is key with Nastasic

In terms of his squad availability, Wagner can call upon everyone his squad, apart from those who are already out with long-term injuries, namely Salif Sané (knee), Alesssandro Schöpf (thigh) and Benjamin Stambouli (foot).

Matija Nastastic has been training individually during the week as a purely precautionary measure. “He took a blow to the knee but it’s not serious. I am working on the assumption that Mati will take part in our final training session and will be able to play on Saturday without any pain,” said Wagner. However, the coach did not reveal what his planned starting XI is: “Everyone who’s training and is fit is available to play,” emphasised Wagner.


Share page

You may also be interested in


Ralf Fährmann: We are all in the same boat

After a strong showing in the 4-0 win over Hoffenheim, Ralf Fährmann impressed again in Frankfurt on Sunday (17/01). Despite some good saves, the goalkeeper couldn’t prevent the Royal Blues from falling to a 3-1 defeat. “Frankfurt were the better team, so they deserved to win,” said the 32-year-old.


Christian Gross: We lost possession too easily in midfield

Head coaches Christian Gross and Adi Hütter both spoke to the media in a digital press conference after Frankfurt’s 3-1 win over Schalke on Sunday (17/1). Mark Uth also gave his opinion on the defeat.


Jovic brace seals a 3-1 win for Frankfurt

FC Schalke 04 lost 3-1 away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday evening (17/1). Andre Silva (28’) put the Eagles ahead, before Matthew Hoppe equalised just before half time. Luka Jovic, on his return from Real Madrid, then came on to score twice late on to seal the win for SGE (72’, 91’).


Christian Gross: Becoming more attacking-minded

With last weekend’s long-awaited win still fresh in the mind, FC Schalke 04 are now looking for a repeat against Eintracht Frankfurt this Sunday (17/1). During a press conference in the lead-up to the game, head coach Christian Gross said that a weight has been lifted off his side’s shoulders, but that they have “long been focused” on the upcoming task. “We still have a long, tough road ahead of us,” he said.