Domenico Tedesco: New dynamism, new self-confidence

FC Schalke 04 will face Hertha BSC on Friday 25th January (20:30 CET) at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. “We simply want to get more points in the second half of the season than we did in the first half. We started well against Wolfsburg and we want to continue in Berlin,” said head coach Domenico Tedesco before the game.

The Berliners, who beat Schalke in the Veltins-Arena 2-0 earlier on in the season, can beat any team in the league, according to Domenico Tedesco. This is backed up by the fact that Hertha Berlin beat Bayern München (2-0) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (4-2) in the first half of the season. “Our opponents play with a lot of tempo and play well down the flanks,” said the Schalke coach. “They are also strong in the air and fight well for the second ball.”

Schalke want to bring the game to their opponents

Instead of speaking about the strengths of the team in seventh, Tedesco discussed the qualities of his team. “We want to focus on our own game,” said the 33-year-old. “We have a new dynamism and new self-confidence. We want to fulfil our potential on the pitch. We want to improve every week.” However, the head coach does not feel more pressure than usual to claim points. “We are under pressure in every game. Pressure is nothing unusual because we want to win every game.”

Pressure is nothing unusual because we want to win every game.

Domenico Tedesco

For the game on Friday, Schalke will be able to pick Yevhen Konoplyanka again. The Ukrainian is back in training after recovering from tonsillitis. Nabil Bentaleb is still a doubt though for the game. The midfielder had been training individually after picking up a thigh injury, but has returned to full training in recent days. “Nabil has a bit of catching up to do. We will see in the final training session before the game, whether he is ready or not. He is still on the road to recovery,” said Tedesco.

Fifth yellow card for McKennie

Schalke will have to do without Weston McKennie, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season so far against Wolfsburg and is therefore suspended. Both Guido Burgstaller and Breel Embolo are both still out injured.