Malick Thiaw: Clean sheet is a mental boost
Strong in duels and in the air, Malick Thiaw drew praise from his coach in Saturday’s (13/02) draw against Union Berlin. “Malick did an excellent job. He was calm and collected. He has great potential,” said Christian Gross.
The Schalke youth product helped his side keep a clean sheet at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei for the first time in 15 away games. Thiaw put in a good performance against the side from the capital, who are one of the most dangerous teams in the Bundesliga from set pieces. “Union are recognised for being very strong, especially at dead balls,” said the 19-year-old. “We prepared well for that in training. I think we did well overall.”
Shkodran is a very experienced player. He’s helped me a lot.
In new January arrival Shkodran Mustafi, Thiaw had a central defensive partner who he had not played alongside before. However, the pair worked well together. “Shkodran is a very experienced player. He’s helped me a lot,” said the 19-year-old. “We talked a lot on the pitch and he gives good directions.”
Clean sheet gives confidence
Thiaw is not satisfied with the result though. “We went to Berlin to win the game, but unfortunately we didn’t manage that,” said the defender, who also said a point was a fair return given how the game went. “But it’s clear that in our situation, three points would have helped us a lot more.”
However, Thiaw believes that the draw was important with regard to the upcoming tasks. “Keeping a clean sheet is always a good feeling for the team and especially for a defender. It gives us self-confidence,” said the number 33. “We were stable. That was important, from a mental perspective too. I hope the clean sheet will help us for the upcoming derby.”