Ralf Fährmann: We deserved a point
There are plenty of talking points after the 2-1 defeat in Wolfsburg. Both coaches gave their opinions on the battle in the Volkswagen Arena, as well as captain Ralf Fährmann and Mark Uth. schalke04.de have summarised the four post-match interviews.
We played well in the first 15 minutes and Suat Serdar could have made it 1-0 for us, however after this Wolfsburg dominated the rest of the first half. We changed to a 4-2-3-1 formation for the second half and then had to change it again once Matija Nastasic was sent off. After that we defended a lot more from the front, winning the ball back a lot more. The lads fought brilliantly, believed in themselves and were eventually rewarded with the equaliser. But we’ve still lost the game which is a massive disappointment. The first half wasn’t good enough, the second was considerably better.
It was fully acceptable that the referee took back his decision to send off Wout Weghorst. Even if it was the wrong decision, we still have to accept that. We all make mistakes in our lives. It is more important to me that everybody communicates fairly with one another. I always want everybody involved in the game to do so. Of course emotions are part of the game, but I think how people treat one another is important. By this I am not explicitly naming VfL Wolfsburg, and I don’t want to say anymore on this topic. Finally I also find it important, that we don’t look to blame the referee for the defeat.
It was an extremely intense match, whereby both teams got their tactics spot on. I’m very pleased that we got our first goal through a set-piece, as Schalke are normally excellent from dead-ball situations. My team played very bravely and worked hard for the win. Obviously you need a bit of luck when you play against a team like Schalke, who in my opinion are deservedly in the Champions League this season. Conceding the equaliser was a real kick in the teeth, but we didn’t let our heads drop and were rewarded for that in added time.
The result is very hard to take right now, but I guess that’s football. I believe that after the character and mentality we showed in the second half that we actually deserved a point. We cannot be too critical of ourselves tonight. The first game of any season is always difficult for every team. A competitive game is always a bit different to a friendly, which is perhaps why the first half seemed a bit more cagey and quiet. In the second half we were back to how we were last season, although the VAR interventions made it no normal Bundesliga game for us today.
I didn’t understand all of the decisions made in the second half, although I don’t want to make a big thing out of it. If Matija Nastasic hadn’t been sent off then it would have been a normal “11 v 11” match. But even with ten men we were able to play well and get the equaliser. I would say however that we were a bit naive in added time; we threw everyone forwards and tried to score a second goal. This was ultimately punished and in the future we have to be cleverer in this kind of situations.