Manuel Baum: The well-being of the club comes first
Head coach Manuel Baum has made several personnel decisions regarding first-team players ahead of Saturday’s game away at Borussia Mönchengladbach (28/11, 18:30 CET). With an eye on the upcoming matches, Baum stated that the well-being of the club and the team’s mentality are more important than any individual.
“It was important that we had some intense discussions after the Wolfsburg game and that we made some well-thought out decisions in the aftermath,” Baum said during a press conference on Thursday (26/11). The message to the players is clear: the club and the team come above everything else. “If we have the feeling that someone is putting their ego first, at the expense of the well-being of the team, then there will be further consequences,” said Baum. He added that the squad includes several players who “are with us heart and soul, and who want to work together to deliver on the pitch and to give something back to the fans.”
According to Baum, the key to success lies in having a squad that brings team spirit to the pitch and radiates confidence, and not in simply having talented individuals. “It’s part of what we’re doing with the team. It’s not enough to simply go over certain in-game situations with them,” said Baum, who also touched on the reaction of the team to the decisions made. “Everyone is feeling good that we are going in the same direction.”
Baum im touch with Stevens, Elgert and Asamoah
Baum also shared that he had been in contact with Huub Stevens over the last few days, as well as U19 head coach Norbert Elgert and U23s coach Gerald Asamoah. “It was important to me that I seek out discussions internally and that I check in on the talented players we have in the Knappenschmiede,” he said. Baum added that it’s important “That we have 11 players on the pitch who are playing with passion. That could also include players from the U19s and U23s.”
Baum will be without several players for the game against Gladbach. Salif Sané’s injury is currently being treated conservatively, while Ralf Fährmann, Goncalo Paciencia and Rabbi Matondo will also miss out. Bastian Oczipka (muscle issues) remains a doubt, while Alessandro Schöpf has been able to return to full training.
If everyone is supporting each other and we stick together as a team, then it will make it hard for any opponent to beat us.
In order to take something from Mönchengladbach, it will be important to play as a team, regardless of who features, said Baum. “If everyone is supporting each other and we stick together as a team, then it will make it hard for any opponent to beat us,” said the 41-year-old. “That gives you a chance against any team, no matter how strong their current form is.”