Henning Matriciani: We were able to gain some important insights
The first game of 2022 for the Royal Blues saw them come away with a 1-1 draw from a friendly against Dutch top-flight side Fortuna Sittard on Saturday (08/01). Schalke had several good chances, especially in the first half, Marvin Pieringer making the most of one to give the Royal Blues the lead five minutes before half time. For Henning Matriciani, the game was a successful test, all things considered.
“We were able to gain some important insights,” said the defender, the only Schalker to complete the entire game. The fact the final score was not a win for the Royal Blues was not too important for Matriciani. “Of course we wanted to win, but we aren’t really going to look at the scoreline in terms of how we’ll prepare for the competitive restart. The most important thing is to put good performances in,” said the man from Lippstadt, emphasising that the team “definitely needs to step things up a notch” for the upcoming 2. Bundesliga games. “That said, some things are looking pretty good already.”
I just want to play and always try to give my all, no matter what position I’m in.
The 21-year-old only found out that he would be playing the full match against Sittard just before kickoff: “I was happy to hear that I’d be able to play the full 90 minutes,” said Matriciani, who played on the left side of a back three in the game. “My favourite position is in the centre of defence, but I can also play on either side of the back line,” he explained. “I just want to play and always try to give my all, no matter what position I’m in.” Matriciani also wants to put a bit of pressure on key players with good performances, and will try “to get as much game time as I can.”
Working to be successful together
The goal for the second half of the season is to continue the climb up the table and collect as many points as possible. To that end, the team has “worked well” in the last few days, said Matriciani, “on the pitch as well as in the gym.”
The defender was happy to see Salif Sané return to the pitch from the start against Sittard. Sané is both a leader and a role model for the 21-year-old. “I can learn from his composure and cleverness in build-up play,” said Matriciani, who is also a fan of his teammate as a person. “He’s a great guy, both on the pitch and in the dressing room. It’s fun to play with him.”