A good test with important lessons for the coaching team
A powerful Marius Bülter strike and a Mika Hanraths goal via his knee saw FC Schalke 04 win 2-0 at VfB Lübeck in a friendly on Thursday night (7/10). Head coach Dimitrios Grammozis was satisfied with the workout, with a number of players who haven’t featured much this season getting some much needed game time.
“From a sporting perspective it was a good test for us. We were able to try out a few things,” said the head coach, who took five players from the U23s with him up north – and they all came on in the second half, four of them even getting the full 45 minutes. Grammozis wanted to see how some of the Knappenschmiede players would fare, as well as give minutes to players who hadn’t played much so far this season. “You can’t replace match fitness,” commented the coach.
I want to impress, work hard and be there for the team.
Henning Matriciani, who has made two cameo appearances for the first team in the 2. Bundesliga so far this season, got the chance to impress in Lübeck, playing the full 90 minutes in the middle of a back three. “I’m just happy to play. I want to impress, work hard and be there for the team. It was a great feeling,” stated the 21-year-old after the game. According to Matriciani, the team took a while to settle and were then able to take control of the game. “We then took the lead through a great goal by Marius Bülter,” said the defender on the opening goal. “We had more security after Marius Bülter’s nice goal,” added Grammozis, who wanted his team to get a second goal earlier on. It took until 85 minutes for the lead to be increased. U23s player Mika Hanraths came off the bench to score with his knee from a Marvin Pieringer assist, which came from a Kerim Calhanoglu corner.
Focus on Hannover
With the friendly gone, Matriciani and Grammozis’ focus has already turned to the league. Next up is a trip to Hannover 96 on Friday (15/10) at 18:30 CEST. “It will be a really difficult game. We will have to give 100% to win it,” explained the defender. “We’re looking forward to the game in Hannover, they’re a good opponent,” said Grammozis. “We want to pick up where we’ve left off from – and we will do just that.”