Huub Stevens: Good periods in a game aren’t enough in a derby
The sporting signs could be a lot better ahead of the 154th competitive Revierderby on Saturday (27/4, 15:30 CEST). FC Schalke currently sit 15th in the Bundesliga table, only six points ahead of the relegation play-off position with four games to go. Dortmund, on the other hand, are only a point behind table-topping FC Bayern and are still hopeful of winning the title.
“We can’t deny the fact that they are fighting for the title and we are playing for something completely different,” admitted head coach Huub Stevens, who added that both teams will have to fight hard for a result so that they can reach their respective goals. “One team has more positive pressure on them than the other. Nevertheless, both teams will have to deal with the pressure on them,” said the 65-year-old, who also underlined the fact that “this game has nothing to do with the table.”
Don’t sit too deep and try to have an attacking impulse
The Black and Yellows are still unbeaten at home in the league this season, having won 13 and drawn twice in Dortmund. Despite this impressive record, Stevens and his team won’t be too worried, as “every game starts 0-0. BVB are definitely good at combining quickly going forward. We will have to concentrate for the whole 90 minutes. We can’t sit too deep though. We have to try and have an attacking impulse too.”
Every game starts 0-0
It will be important that S04 bring their own qualities onto the pitch. “We will have to do that for the whole game and not just for short phases,” demanded the coach, who wants to see an improvement on the side’s recent performances. He added: “We have played well in parts, but then things have fallen apart. I hope that the lads who play on Saturday will know what is required.”
Quintet out injured
Stevens wasn’t prepared to reveal what formation he would play for the derby. One is for sure though: Yevhen Konoplyanka, Sascha Riether, Alessandro Schöpf, Steven Skrzybski and Mark Uth will all miss the game due to their respective injuries.
Nabil Bentaleb will also not feature on Saturday. The Algerian midfielder has been training with the U23s again after another breach of team regulations. “I don’t want to discuss the details, but I didn’t just make this decision for no reason. It’s a shame, but there was no other way,” explained Stevens.