Thomas Reis: We’ve gained quality

After picking up their first point of 2023 last time out against 1. FC Köln, FC Schalke 04 are hoping to build on that result away to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday (4/2) at 18:30 CET. Head coach Thomas Reis is confident that his side can get something this weekend after the positive display against the Billy Goats. “It’s important that we play with as much aggression and bravery again,” stressed the boss.

“We know that we have to take something from the game,” said Reis, adding: “games are only going to start running out for us. We had hoped for a better start to the year, particularly defensively.” Nevertheless, the match against Köln was a step in the right direction for the coach, who now wants his side to claim all three points this weekend.

Reis is well aware of how tough a game it will be away against the Foals: “Gladbach play great football if you let them and they have lots of quality in their ranks,” said the 49-year-old. “We have to make sure we don’t let them play their own game.”

We have to make sure we don’t let them play their own game.

Thomas Reis

The S04 coach is yet to decide on his starting XI for the trip to Borussia-Park. “I’ve got a few different ideas in my head. The competition for places has grown and we’ve gained quality,” said a happy Reis. He was referring to the fact that the club have brought in a number of new faces during the winter, plus several key players have returned from injury over the last few weeks. “I’m pleased that I can think long and hard about my team and that we’ve got plenty of options. Every individual has to give their all in training to impress me. They all want to be playing at the weekend.”

Balanta could make his debut

Éder Balanta, who joined on loan from Club Brugge on deadline day earlier this week, could make his competitive debut for the club. The Columbian defensive midfielder appeared for the first time in Royal Blue a few hours after signing on Tuesday in the 6-0 friendly win over SG Wattenscheid 09.

Thomas Ouwejan and Leo Greiml both made their return from injury in this training game, though Greiml had already been on the bench in the league this year. The match was also important for Alex Král and Rodrigo Zalazar, as they got more minutes under their belt against the fourth-division outfit.

S04 will be without Marcin Kaminski in Mönchengladbach. “He’s a bit under the weather at the moment and hasn’t trained,” revealed Reis. The Polish centre-back did actually play against Wattenscheid and even got himself on the scoresheet. Justin Heekeren, Sebastian Polter and Sepp van den Berg all also remain on the sidelines.