Nabil Bentaleb: Extra work for the team's success
85 days after his last appearance in Royal Blue, Nabil Bentaleb returned to the S04 starting XI on Saturday (13/02) against Union Berlin. The Algerian put in a decent performance in the goalless draw at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Christian Gross praised the midfielder's performance in the capital.
“The first half gives us hope. Nabil was a bright spark, but obviously he is still lacking match practice and fitness. What is clear, however, is that he has not played for the last two months,” said the head coach. A few days ago, Gross brought Bentaleb back into the first-team picture because he is convinced that the 26-year-old can still play an important role in the fight for survival in the upcoming weeks.
We have to get the ball into the opposition area more often.
Bentaleb, himself, also emphasised after the game that he was determined to help the team in this difficult situation. On the game, the midfielder said, “We had a good first half. However, we should have done better after the break.”
More than anything, the team needs to work on its goal-scoring threat, said the Algerian. “We have to get the ball into the opposition area more often. If you want to score, you have to get the shots off.”
Anticipation ahead of the derby
Bentaleb managed 64 minutes on his comeback. “After just under an hour, my legs started getting heavier,” he said. “I’ll work hard in the coming days and do some extra work.”
The number 10 wants to be in the starting XI again for this Saturday’s derby (20/02). “I’ve already had the chance to play in a few derbies. These games are always very special and anything can happen.”