Thomas Reis: We’ll do all we can to make it a great derby

FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund will meet for the 100th time in the Bundesliga and the 160th time in all competitions this Saturday (11/3, 18:30 CET). This weekend’s clash will be Thomas Reis’ first Revierderby, with the S04 boss hoping his side can continue their excellent recent form.

“We’re doing well at the moment and this game offers us our next chance to continue building some momentum,” said the Schalke head coach, whose side have lost none of their last six games and have won their last two.

Schalke’s recent success, which has seen the Knappen move off the bottom of the table, has resulted in a slightly more relaxed approach in training, though Reis was quick to stress that there is a long way to go until the club can secure survival. “The fact that we’re back in the fight is a small achievement. We now have to keep on picking up points,” demanded Reis.

Take our chances

The next opportunity to collect points comes on Saturday when BVB visit the VELTINS-Arena. It will certainly be a tough game for the Royal Blues, especially because Borussia have won all their league games in 2023 and are now second in the league. “We know that Dortmund have a lot of quality in their team,” said Reis on the upcoming opponents, who will still be able to compensate for the absence of the in-form Julian Brandt. “Their passing is really accurate and they always look to get up the pitch. They are aggressive in defence and play with a high line,” added the head coach. “We have to make sure we take our chances. It could be a really interesting and tight game.”

We have been able to get more players in dangerous positions and have to continue doing so.

Thomas Reis

Another important factor for Reis will be a solid defence, just like in recent weeks. He is also satisfied with his team’s attacking play at the moment. “We were brave and earned our points from fighting hard and playing some good football,” commented Reis. “We have been able to get more players in dangerous positions and have to continue doing so.”

Committed to the cause

One player who provides some extra quality in the final third is Rodrigo Zalazar. The Uruguayan started a fourth game in a row in Bochum and helped to set up both goals. Reis believes that S04’s number 10 increases the quality of the squad and is happy that his players have no problem with playing in different positions, just as Zalazar did in Bochum as he started the game out wide. “This is something really great about us,” praised Reis, who is also happy with the attitude of the players that aren’t receiving many minutes at the moment. For him, the whole squad is committed to the cause.

This mentality will be required again for the BVB clash, which Reis has described as “the most important derby in Germany.” The 49-year-old added: “We can get something from this game if we perform to the best of our ability.” He will have the same squad available to him from the 2-0 win in Bochum last weekend. Éder Balanta, who went off with a knock in that victory, is fit for this matchday.

Reis’ team know what to expect on Saturday and the coach promised that “the lads on the pitch will do all they can to make sure it’s a great derby, with hopefully the right result for us.”