“We have a great bunch here”

Domenico Tedesco was clearly at ease after his team’s 2-0 win. The head coach praised the improved second half performance and stressed how important the first goal was for the win. Friedhelm Funkel was disappointed with Fortuna’s big chance wasted in the first half. Guido Burgstaller and Weston McKennie discussed their goals and the closeness of the squad.

Domenico Tedesco:

We are delighted that we’ve taken three very important points today. It wasn’t an easy game as Düsseldorf played as we expected; aggressive and won a lot of tackles. The first half was somewhat disjointed. We kept trying long balls over their back five, but couldn’t create many chances. Our plan for the second half was to get in their box as much as we could, which the lads did superbly. The first goal gave us some confidence and allowed us to be more relaxed so that we could control the game. If their offside goal had counted in the 80th minute it would have been a bit nervy at the end. Wins are important for us, wherever we are in the table. Weston McKennie scored a massively important goal in Moscow and put us on the right track again today with his goal. He is a young, talented player who has a great mentality and always gives his best on the pitch.

Friedhelm Funkel:

We played well again in front of our own fans. The statistics prove that it was an even game, in which we were the better team in the first half. We had a great chance after four minutes which you have to take against big teams like Schalke. It was a shame that we went behind straight away in the second half. We were a bit naive at the back. We didn’t give up after the second goal and continued to get forward. It’s difficult to get results when you don’t take your chances, but I still felt the team played well. We need to be more clever and clinical. Nonetheless, we won’t bury our heads in the sand; we will keep trying to make chances and try to get back to winning ways.

Guido Burgstaller:

We are heading in the right direction and need to carry on what we are doing. The fact that we played so well today after a tiring journey back from Russia shows what kind of squad we have here. I’ve got a lot of respect for my teammates, who all gave everything they could for the team today. We didn’t give 100% in the first half, so that we could come out of the blocks quicker in the second half (laughs). No, I’m only joking! We switched things up a bit at half time, which helped us. Thanks to Weston’s early goal we were in the driving seat and we kept things tight at the back, rarely giving them chances. I’m glad that I scored again, but it’s more important to me that we got the win!

Weston McKennie:

We got the balance right between playing good football and fighting hard. We already knew that after Moscow we would have another difficult game on our hands today. The head coach made the appropriate changes. I’m so happy that I could help the team again today by scoring another goal. It’s such an amazing feeling. I’m not going to be getting carried away because I’ve scored these goals though. I will remain grounded and I know that I have a lot more work to do. I feel good knowing that the coaching team and the team trust me.

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