Sascha Riether on becoming a father, Berlin and Bayer 04

Sascha Riether has a few eventful days behind him. Riether, the coordinator between players and coaching staff, recently became a father for the first time. Baby Sophia “and my wife Sarah are both doing well,” said the 37-year-old. He added, “Finally some good news after corona and the recent string of disappointing results.”

Sascha Riether

A 1-1 draw against Union Berlin last time out saw Schalke 04 end their losing streak, but the team are still waiting for their first win following the Bundesliga restart. Schalke’s last win was on matchday 18, when they beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 at home.

“The situation is tense, there’s no denying it,” said Riether. “If you don’t win several games, then that’s cause for concern as a player.” The former Royal Blue, who hung up his boots at the end of last season, says that “the team are doing everything they can in order to end this negative run of form.” He himself is convinced that things will turn around soon.

The situation is tense, there’s no denying it.

Sascha Riether

Riether draws his sense of optimism from the team spirit that’s still evident despite the lack of results. “Everyone is giving all they can at the moment,” he said. As an example, he lists Benjamin Stambouli, who has been able to return to team training after recovering from a foot injury. Despite it being too soon for him to return to the matchday squad, the Frenchman absolutely wanted to travel to Berlin with his teammates. “Benji wanted to be there, in order to support the lads. That was good for the team, especially the younger players. Veteran players can help support the youngsters during difficult situations,” said Riether.

Stambouli may be able to return and help his team out on the pitch soon as well. However, the same is not true for Omar Mascarell. The Royal Blue captain suffered a setback during his rehabilitation training, and will definitely not feature again this season. A conservative approach to treating his adductor injury failed to deliver the hoped for results, meaning that an operation could be an option.

Hit hard by injury woes

Along with Mascarell and Stambouli, head coach David Wagner has also had to deal with several other injuries to his squad recently. “It’s really hit us hard again and again this year,” said Riether. As a result, it’s natural to follow up and look for certain areas that could use some work in order to improve ahead of next season. “But, when a player like Benji enters into a challenge and breaks his foot, or Salif suffers a serious knee injury during a challenge or Ozan has the misfortune to land badly on his back, then you’re a bit powerless to do anything,” said Riether.

Despite the lack of squad depth to choose from and the lack of recent results, Riether continues to believe in the quality the team possesses. “Our next chance to pick up points will be on Sunday against Leverkusen,” said Riether.

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