David Wagner: Play like we did against Leverkusen
Three days after the 1-1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen, FC Schalke 04 will be in Bundesliga action again as they face Eintracht Frankfurt (17/6). The away match will kick off at 18:30 CEST, with S04 looking to build on their strong performance from Sunday.
Head coach David Wagner described upcoming opponents Frankfurt as “an experienced and robust side, who are strong tacklers,” in the pre-match press conference. “They have a clear idea of how they want to play: by utilising the wings and crosses. Eintracht are a dangerous attacking outfit, who have lacked freshness after an extremely busy season.”
“I’m not looking at the table anymore; I’m simply focussing on our opponents. The best approach for us is to ask ourselves how we can cause them problems and play our own game,” explained Wagner.
Raman and Matondo could return
The 48-year-old will again be without a number of players for the away game in Frankfurt. Salif Sané, Matija Nastasic, Jean-Clair Todibo, Suat Serdar, Amine Harit, Guido Burgstaller, Benjamin Stambouli and captain Omar Mascarell are all injured, while Daniel Caligiuri is banned after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Leverkusen. Benito Raman and Rabbi Matondo, on the other hand, could return to the squad. Raman missed Sunday’s match due to a back problem, while Matondo has been struggling with a thigh issue. “Further tests will be made in the afternoon. Things were looking positive this morning though,” revealed the head coach.
I’m confident that we’ll have enough in us to adopt the same approach we did on Sunday.
The Schalke squad will see a number of academy players from the Knappenschmiede involved again due to the many absentees. “One advantage of young players is that they recover relatively quickly,” said Wagner, who is confident that his side will play with as much passion as they did against Bayer 04. “I’m confident that we’ll have enough in us to adopt the same approach we did on Sunday. We want to do as well as we can with the lads we have available to us and put everything on the line.”
Praise for Bozdogan and other young players
One of those academy players, who played well until he came off against Leverkusen, was Can Bozdogan. “Can is a really talented and intelligent footballer,” praised Wagner. The 19-year-old’s performance was particularly impressive considering he hadn’t played a competitive match in six months. “In training he has done well and shown real confidence in himself. I think he took that into the Leverkusen game and did a good job – especially when you consider he hasn’t played for a long time.”
As is the case for the other young players, Wagner believes it’s important that he gives Bozdogan minutes at the right moments, so that they can help the team in the long run too. “We have young, exciting players in our squad, who have already had some minutes this season. I’m confident this will carry on in the future too,” added Wagner.