Goncalo Paciencia: Competition is good for the team
Goncalo Paciencia spent four months of this season sidelined with a knee injury, but after intensive rehabilitation the Portuguese has made his comeback, giving head coach Dimitrios Grammozis a boost to his attacking options. Paciencia followed up a 15-minute cameo performance against Leverkusen with a substitute appearance at home to FC Augsburg, in which he helped to close out the 1-0 win and seal three hard-fought points for the Royal Blues.
“My main goal has always been to help the team and to come back from my injury stronger than I was before,” says Paciencia. The last few months have not always been easy for the striker, as he readily admits. “It was tough not only because of my injury and the fact that I couldn’t help the team, but also because we weren’t getting good results. It weighs on you even more during rehab when the team aren’t as successful as we want to be.”
Helping the team by playing as often as possible
Paciencia was delighted to be back out on the pitch and to have helped S04 to a 1-0 win against FC Augsburg last Sunday. The priority for the striker now is picking up as many minutes as possible and helping the team for the rest of the season.
Alongside himself, several other key players are returning from injury. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Ralf Fährmann, Mark Uth, and Salif Sané have all returned to team training, reports Paciencia. “That’s extremely important in terms of increasing competition within the team. Everyone has to fight harder for their place now,” explains the 26-year-old. “It’s also a big advantage for the coach as he has more options up front now.”
Klaas-Jan is not just a legend at Schalke, but also in European football. It's great to be in a team alongside him.
The Portuguese was brought on alongside Matthew Hoppe late on against Augsburg, as Dimitrios Grammozis replaced Amine Harit and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Paciencia has nothing but praise for Huntelaar. “Klaas-Jan is not just a legend at Schalke, but also in European football. It’s great to be in a team alongside him,” he emphasises. “He’s still such a good striker and without a doubt someone who our younger players can look up and learn from.”