David Wagner: We want to keep playing really good football in this competition
Just 04 days after their Bundesliga encounter, FC Schalke 04 and Hertha BSC meet again – this time in the DFB-Pokal. On Tuesday night (20:45 CET), the Royal Blues will be looking to edge past Jürgen Klinsmann’s men at the VELTINS-Arena and book their place in the quarterfinals.
“We set out to be successful in every round of the DFB-Pokal,” said head coach David Wagner, in no uncertain terms. “With more than 50,000 spectators we will have the energy from the fans behind us,” he said, after reflecting on both positives and negatives of the goalless draw in Berlin on Friday night: “Hertha didn’t even have an attempt on goal – we defended very well, and we want to build on that on Tuesday,” he said, not without mentioning the mistakes his team made, particularly in attack. “This, we want to improve on.”
We’ve played really good football twice in this competition already and we want to keep doing so.
Wagner is not expecting Klinsmann to make drastic changes to his Friday night tactics for Tuesday’s clash in the VELTINS-Arena. “They’re pragmatic and they’re successful in their own way as a result,” said the 48-year-old, who is very-much looking forward to this cup tie. “We have shown really good football twice already in this competition and we want to keep doing so. It should be a really exciting game.”
Question marks surrounding personnel
He and his team are super excited for the game. “We will be present and prepared, we’re pumped for this match,” said Wagner, who is not yet sure which players might be available to him on Tuesday night. Markus Schubert (recovery training), Benjamin Stambouli and Salif Sané (long-term injuries) will definitely not be in the squad. The coach is hopeful that Suat Serdar, Ahmed Kutucu, Nassim Boujellab and Jonjoe Kenny can all put their injuries behind them and complete the final training session.
Objective: Fourth quarterfinal in a row
Whether Wagner will rotate the team regardless of certain absentees remains to be seen. “It’s good that we have a lot of players in great physical shape,” he said, without revealing anything about a potential starting XI. His personal lack of success in domestic cup competitions is not an issue for the Eurofighter: “For me, it’s the present that counts!” On Tuesday, his objective will be to reach the DFB-Pokal quarterfinal, which would be Schalke’s fourth consecutive season among the last eight of the competition.