Dimitrios Grammozis: Showing an appropriate reaction against Bielefeld
Following a disappointing performance in Freiburg, the Royal Blues are looking to bounce back against Arminia Bielefeld on Tuesday (20/4, 20:30 CEST) by building on their efforts against Leverkusen and Augsburg. Benito Raman could make his return to head coach Dimitrios Grammozis’ squad.
The Belgian international has missed the last two games due to back problems, but took part in the final training session on Monday. Grammozis wouldn’t confirm whether or not Mark Uth and Salif Sané, who both made their comebacks after being subbed on in the second half against Freiburg, will be given more playing time. “Both Mark and Salif are not back to full fitness yet,” said the head coach, who added that both have made progress following their long injury lay-offs.
Grammozis expecting a game with plenty of long balls
Sané in particular is still lacking full confidence in certain motions after his knee injury. However, the centre-back is physically in a good spot at the moment and is on his way back, said Grammozis, who is expecting to face several long balls in the game against Bielefeld. He described Arminia’s style of play as being very intense and focused on winning back possession. “They have a lot of tall players, while looking to win the second ball and get into the final third playing good combination football,” he said about the team’s strengths.
We said all the right things to the team, and I can confirm that a repeat of such a performance won’t be taken lightly.
The 42-year-old also hasn’t confirmed which 11 players will start against Bielefeld on Tuesday evening. “I want to wait for our final training session, before I make my decision,” he said, adding that he is expecting his side to respond to the disappointing performance against Freiburg on the weekend. “We said all the right things to the team, and I can confirm that a repeat of such a performance won’t be taken lightly.”
Self-critical analysis from the players
The players were self-critical when analysing the Freiburg game, said Grammozis. “If you don’t play 100% to your best, then you will be outplayed in the Bundesliga. Unfortunately, that was the case for us against Freiburg,” he said, making no secret of his disappointment over the game against Freiburg, especially given the improvement the team had shown recently in Leverkusen and against Augsburg. “I was surprised by how we played in Freiburg. Mentally, we weren’t in the right place,” he said. Now, the focus is full on what’s to come, and Grammozis has spoken to the players about what he expects to see from them. “We want to see a team that is giving their all for the club and this badge, so that we can, over the coming games, showcase what defines our club.”