David Wagner: There aren’t many cooler games

Three days after an intense Revierderby against BVB, the next important task awaits FC Schalke 04. On Tuesday (29/10), the Knappen will play Arminia Bielefeld and will give everything to reach the last 16 of the DFB-Pokal. A difficult task, as David Wagner explained.

“Arminia are a team that play great football. They have plenty of quality going forward,” said the 48-year-old on the upcoming opponent, who currently sit second in the 2. Bundesliga. The success of the opponent doesn’t change the fact that “we want to win this game, no matter what,” said Wagner who is looking forward to the game tremendously. “There aren’t many cooler games, than playing under the floodlights at the SchücoArena,” said the coach, who will have to change his lineup from the weekend in at least one position. Benjamin Stambouli suffered a foot injury and will be out for a few weeks. “We have plenty of quality cover in all positions so we’ll be able to fill that gap. We’ll decide exactly how we’re going to do that in the next few days,” said Wagner on the squad situation.

We have plenty of quality cover in all positions so we’ll be able to fill that gap.

David Wagner

Whether there’ll be further changes, Wagner would not yet say, but he did say that he would not rule out one or two changes to keep the side “fresh”. “Freshness is always a factor – it’s about who can give that extra few percent. There are some players who have been imposing themselves and merit a chance,” said Wagner who is sure that all players other than Stambouli are fit for the game against Arminia.

When asked whether the team is ready to play 120 minutes and possibly go to penalties, he said that those conditions couldn’t possibly be replicated. “Nevertheless I can imagine that after training we will probably end up practising and few penalties, but other than that it will be a completely normal training week.”

Trust in the strong attack

Wagner, just like everyone associated with the Royal Blues, would really like to have sealed the victory in normal time, however. And coach Wagner is counting on his attacking players to just that, which would signal a bounce back from their previous two games in which they have failed to score in both. “We have complete faith that our attackers can and will score,” said Wagner, who laid out the importance of attacking football during the game, even if they don’t end up scoring. Wagner said, however, that: “We have made it very clear to them that we want more rewards from the chances that we work so hard to create.”

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