David Wagner: Taking stock of the situation and showing that we can do better
The Royal Blues are looking to end a disappointing string of results when they head to face 1. FC Union Berlin on Sunday (07.06). “The goal is clear: we need to pick up points in this game,” head coach David Wagner said ahead of the match.
“In order to take something from this game, we need to improve in certain areas and do better than we have of late,” said David Wagner. Attacking the opponent’s final third will be important once again this weekend. Fundamentally, it will come down to “being fully present” right from the start and “ensuring that we don’t repeat those careless mistakes we’ve made in recent games.” Along with avoiding these individual mistakes, it will also be about creating more chances and finishing.
Omar Mascarell out for the remainder of the season
According to Wagner, he has not just changed how he addresses the team, but also the training sessions. “It’s clear that, as a coach, when you find yourself in a similar phase to where we are currently, that you have to use different methods, and cannot continue on in the same manner,” said Wagner, who will be unable to call upon several key figures on Sunday. Weston McKennie is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card against Werder Bremen last time out. Jean-Clair Todibo rolled his ankle in training and will be out for seven to ten days. Amine Harit has yet to return to team training after suffering a knee ligament injury. On top of all that, it was the captain who was dealt the hardest blow. “Omar Mascarell suffered a setback during his rehabilitation and will be out for the remainder of the season,” said Wagner.
The coach was also cautiously optimistic when talking about Benjamin Stambouli. Although the Frenchman has made a partial return to team training, “we should be cautious; after all, he has been out of action since the end of October,” said Wagner.
We will be there on Sunday, we will prove ourselves, and we want to show that we can do better, and that we’re not ducking away.
Despite the lack of recent results, Wagner is optimistic heading into Sunday’s game. “When you’re dealt several setbacks in quick succession, there are several things you can do: you can go back and prove that you can do better. And you have the hunger, the desire and the willingness to prove that – or, you can hide,” said the head coach. “We will be there on Sunday, we will prove ourselves, and we want to show that we can do better, and that we’re not ducking away.”