“Wins will get our fluency back”
After three unbeaten away games in a row, the Royal Blues are back at home on Saturday (3/11, 15:30 CET) against Hannover 96. Although the team from Lower Saxony are currently in the relegation zone, Domenico Tedesco feels that they shouldn’t be underestimated.
The penalty shootout win over 1. FC Köln in the second round of the DFB-Pokal has taken its toll on Schalke. “It wasn’t an easy game and a third straight away game required a lot of effort from us. Nevertheless, the lads gave their all as always,” reflected Tedesco. The win over Köln has also had its positive effects though: “It was important for us to progress. You could tell that the team left everything they had on that pitch,” praised the head coach.
With wins we will start getting our fluency back, which will make things a lot easier.
The upcoming opponents weren’t able to enjoy such success in the DFB-Pokal, losing 2-0 at home to local rivals VfL Wolfsburg. The team, coached by former Schalke head coach Andre Breitenreiter, have only picked up one win so far in the league. Tedesco, however, still has a lot of respect for the team sitting 16th in the league table: “They have nothing to lose and will make things difficult for us, just as they did here last year,” said Tedesco, referring to the 1-1 draw last season in the VELTINS-Arena.
The squad are working hard on the flaws from the last few games in training: “Our final balls and chance conversion have been our main problem recently,” explained Tedesco. “With wins we will start getting our fluency back, which will make things a lot easier.” His trust in his players is still as strong as ever: “The strikers are incredibly hard-working on the pitch. They have already proven on a number of occasions what they are capable of,” commented Tedesco.
Plenty of options for the starting XI
The coach has a number of players to choose from for the home game against Hannover. Only Hamza Mendyl is unavailable, due to his suspension and his ankle injury. “A couple of players have caught a cold, but that’s nothing major”, confirmed Tedesco.