Dimitrios Grammozis: Be brave and take players on

After the international break, the Bundesliga is back this weekend. FC Schalke 04 are in action away at Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday (3/4, 15:30 CEST). A number of players could return from injury to become available for Dimitrios Grammozis.

Dimitrios Grammozis

“Salif Sané, Mark Uth and Goncalo Paciencia have all managed to complete large parts of team training,” reported Grammozis, who felt that the trio had impressed during training and hadn’t suffered any setbacks. Now they need to up the intensity they are working at. “If they carry on as they are, they may well feature – but we will have to discuss it with the medical team and the players themselves,” said S04’s head coach.

Huntelaar an option to start – Mercan out

Another player on his way back from injury is Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. After coming off the bench for 15 minutes against Borussia Mönchengladbach, the striker is now “an option for the starting XI.” Grammozis added “Klaas-Jan has made the most progress. He is an intelligent player, who holds the ball up and allows the team to push up the pitch.”

Levent Mercan, who was training with the U23s during the international break as he looked to game some minutes under his belt, will miss out this weekend. He suffered a knee injury in training. “It’s not a structural injury, but the knee is slightly swollen. He isn’t available,” explained Grammozis.

First game for Leverkusen’s new coach

Schalke’s coach described upcoming opponents Leverkusen as a ‘top team’ due to individual quality in their squad. He also feels that Hannes Wolf, their new coach who has taken over from Peter Bosz, will have a clear plan. “We’re preparing to face a team that are ready to punish any mistakes their opponents make,” stated Grammozis, who has also identified Leverkusen’s weaknesses.

Attacking means playing with confidence without too much pressure on yourself.

Dimitrios Grammozis

Grammozis and his coaching team want the Royal Blues to improve offensively and have been working hard on this in training over the past two weeks. “The lads should be brave and look to take players on,” demanded Grammozis. He wants his players to get into attacking areas and then make the right decisions once there. “We had a few good moments against Gladbach where we won the ball back in midfield, but we were then sloppy going forward so we lost the chances. Attacking means playing with confidence without too much pressure on yourself. I saw some good things in training, now I just hope we can take a step forward in the next match.”

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