Domenico Tedesco: It’s going to take everything we’ve got

Two camps, six friendlies and endless training sessions, on Friday (17th August) the sweat-inducing preparation phase comes to an end. At 20:45 (CEST) die Königsblauen face off against 1. FC Schweinfurt 05 in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. “We are excited that things are now getting going,” Domenico Tedesco gives his thoughts on the start of the competitive season.

After a seven-week preparation stage Tedesco is feeling positive. “The team is very focused and we’ve worked well”. Tedesco feels his team are primed for the upcoming three challenges: “we have a good bunch of lads with a lot of quality. Now it’s just about bringing that quality onto the pitch week on week.”

An early switch into game mode

In the mind of the team, pre-season has already been over for a few weeks. “We’ve tried to switch into game mode early,” explained the coach referencing the approach taken to the last few friendly games. “We played well and were focused and so we are feeling confident”.

We’ve tried to switch into game mode early,

No walk in the park against a motivated team from Schweinfurt

The early switch to a competitive mentality is necessary to avoid an unwanted exit at the hands of the Regionalliga side. “It’s always a bit dangerous when you meet a team that already has six fixtures under the belt and is in full swing. The opponents are up for it and are going to be given their all for the home crowd. They have a good structure and players who are well drilled and technically gifted,” commented Tedeseco regarding the possibility of a potential early exit at the hands the Schweinfurt side.

The Schalke head coach is expecting a tough challenge. “If we take this game easy and sit back we will not succeed, that’s for sure. It’s going to take everything we’ve got”. The Royal Blues want to do as well in the cup as they did last season. Tedesco emphasized the importance of the cup competition, “The DFB-Pokal means a great deal to us and it’s also a great chance to get off to a good start this season”.

Five missing as the season kicks off

Five players will be missing for the game against Schweinfurt. A strained knee tendon means Sascha Riether will join other injured players Yevhen Konoplyanka and Omar Mascarell. “Torn muscle fibres mean Kono and Omar will not be able to return to training for a few weeks,” explained sporting director Axel Schuster. Die Königsblauen will also have to do without Bastian Oczipka for a more extended period after he underwent surgery. In addition a stomach bug also means Johannes Geis will also be missing.