David Wagner: Show a reaction and play our football
David Wagner and his side will be looking to bounce back after a Revierderby to forget as they take on FC Augsburg at the VELTINS-Arena on Sunday (13:30 CEST).
“We were disappointed that we put in such a poor performance,” said Wagner in the pre-match press conference. “Now we need to show a reaction. And that was exactly the atmosphere around the camp during this week of training.” The fact that the team have been subject to lots of criticism over the past few days is completely normal, says the head coach. It’s now the team’s responsibility to bounce back. “We need to be more penetrative in attack,” said Wagner, who emphasises the importance of the midfield in achieving this. “We also need to be tougher in defence and stay more compact,” said the head coach.
Wagner sees it as a clear disadvantage that the Royal Blues will be playing at the VELTINS-Arena without any fans for the first time. “This passion, this energy that our fans bring gives us life,” the coach emphasised. “We have to accept the situation and make sure that we still play with this level of intensity.”
Kabak likely to be an option
In addition to long-term absentees Omar Mascarell and Benjamin Stambouli, two other players will definitely be unavailable for the clash against the Fuggerstädter. Jean-Clair Todibo is out with an ankle problem, while Amine Harit is suffering from a ligament injury. Nevertheless, there is some good news as one player could make his return to the squad. “If Ozan Kabak manages to train well in the final session, he will be part of the squad,” Wagner confirms.
The 48-year-old is expecting an interesting match against FCA; one which will require lots of patience from his side. “Augsburg have a lot more quality than they’ve shown in many games this season,” says Wagner, who has described Heiko Herrlich’s team as, “defensively solid.” The Augsburg game marks the beginning of a “crucial week” for Wagner, who is desperate for his side to regain their confidence again.
We want to play our football again!
The Schalke coach is hoping to see a better performance from his side than in the derby last weekend. “It’s important to play well again. Because you are more likely to start being successful again when you play well,” said the coach. “We want to play our football again!”