Jochen Schneider: A new and unusual situation for every club

The Bundesliga will restart after a break of more than two-and-a-half months. Jochen Schneider gave his thoughts on the resumption of the league next week in a virtual press conference.

Jochen Schneider

Jochen Schneider on…

…the coming days:
The team will train in the VELTINS-Arena on Saturday one more time, before they begin their quarantine training camp in the Courtyard by Marriott near the stadium. This group, which includes the players, coaches and the backroom staff, will spend the whole week either in this hotel or on the training ground/the pitch in the VELTINS-Arena.

…the mood in the dressing room:
The lads are pleased that a return date has been finalised and that they can get back to normal training to a certain extent, having only worked individually or in small groups recently. I have spoken to all the players in small groups over the past few days. I wanted to know how they were all feeling, and if any of them had concerns about starting training and playing again – which wasn’t the case. If any of the players do have concerns in the coming weeks, they can come to me, David Wagner, Sascha Riether or our sports psychologist Sascha Lense at any time. Nobody would be forced to train or play at our club. Everybody has a choice.

…the first game back being the derby:
We’ve accepted the schedule. The season was interrupted just before the derby, so we’re restarting with that game. I don’t want to make a judgement on where we are at. We’re not the only side in this position though; it’s a new situation for all the clubs. As a result, it’s extremely tough to predict how the first few games will go. Let’s just wait and see. Our team is fully motivated nonetheless.

…mentally preparing for games behind closed doors:
Playing in front of no fans instead of a full stadium will definitely be a new experience. We have been training partially in the VELTINS-Arena to try and get used to this. A few of our final training sessions before games have come in the arena too in the past. A match is a completely different kettle of fish to a training session though. All teams, not just us, need to realise that. Suddenly, games behind closed doors are the only way for football to be played.

Playing in front of no fans instead of a full stadium will definitely be a new experience.

Jochen Schneider

…logistical challenges:
Things are far from normal regarding training right now. We set up an internal group a few weeks ago to deal with all the measures that need to be taken to meet the guidelines. The hygiene concept that the DFL drew up is fantastic. Sometimes there is a lot of work to be done to keep things to a required standard, but that’s just because things are new, and we’re not used to them. Everything is doable and we are keeping to the guidelines fully.

…injured players returning:
It’s great to have every single player back that was out before the break. That’s not something exclusive to FC Schalke 04 though. Other clubs are also benefitting from players returning from injury. We’ll have to see which players are 100% ready to play in the coming days. Salif Sané has looked good recently and Ozan Kabak is on the right path. Daniel Caligiuri has been training for a while now too. Benjamin Stambouli and Omar Mascarell will have to wait a little while longer.

…financial implications from the coronavirus pandemic:
Almost nobody would have predicted a few months ago that the whole country would have been brought to a standstill by a virus. We are the same as any other business. When the main source of income is gone, things will be difficult and football matches are our source of income. I don’t know the exact figures at other clubs, but one thing is for sure: All clubs are badly affected. We took the necessary steps on the first day to ensure that we will survive these difficult times. The team also showed solidarity by waiving parts of their salary.

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