Frank Kramer: Take on this challenge together

Following last weekend’s frustrating 3-2 defeat to FC Augsburg, FC Schalke 04 are back in action in the Bundesliga this Saturday (8/10, 15:30 CEST) away to Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The opponents will be going into matchday 9 with a new head coach.

Frank Kramer

World Cup and European Championship winner Xabi Alonso replaced Gerardo Seoane as Bayer Leverkusen head coach on Wednesday (5/10) following their 2-0 defeat to FC Porto in the Champions League a day before. The Werkself have been nowhere near their best in the Bundesliga this season, with just five points from the first eight games to their name. They were also knocked out in the first round of the DFB-Pokal by third-tier side SV Elversberg (4-3).

“They will have a new coach, but not everything will be completely different. Only a few small things will be adjusted,” said Kramer. The S04 boss doesn’t want to focus too much on Alonso’s arrival and Seoane’s departure ahead of Saturday. “We have to stay true to ourselves and do the things necessary to get a positive result.”

04 players out – Good news regarding Brunner

Kramer will definitely be without Marcin Kaminski and Ibrahima Cissé, plus Rodrigo Zalazar (fractured metatarsal) and Sepp van den Berg (serious ligament injury), who won’t feature again in 2022 after sustaining their respective injuries against FCA. However, there is some good news regarding Cedric Brunner after he missed the last three games with muscular problems. “Cedric has trained all week and we expect to have him available,” reported Kramer.

Praise for Greiml

It looks like Leo Greiml will fill in for van den Berg alongside Maya Yoshida in the centre of the defence. “Leo hasn’t had it easy. He’s had to recover from a torn ACL, has worked really hard and fought his way back,” praised Kramer.” The 21-year-old Austrian has worked his way back to full fitness with games for the U23s. “He’s doing really well. He’s really energetic, gets stuck in and listens to everything he needs. He’s deserved his place.”

We have to be a tight-knit group even more so now. Everyone has to take on responsibility that they may not have otherwise. That’s just something that happens during a situation like this.

Frank Kramer

With van den Berg und Cissé both out, other back-up options to play at centre-back are Henning Matriciani and Alex Král, who have played there previously in their careers. “We have to be a tight-knit group even more so now. Everyone has to take on responsibility that they may not have otherwise. That’s just something that happens during a situation like this. It’s the same for everyone. The lads will accept this and we’ll take on this challenge together.”

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