Sebastian Polter on attacking play, his back-heel and conceding four goals

The best goal of the seven scored in Split on Friday night (16/12) was by Sebastian Polter. The attacker found the bottom corner with a sublime back-heel in the 37th minute against Hajduk, and was involved in several other good attacks in the first half.

“We created a number of good chances and you could see that we’ve been working on our attacking play, particularly in the first half. A number of things started to come together with our build-up play,” said Polter. “It’s important that we improve on things. We’ve got the chance to work on specific parts of our game during the long break.”

You could see that we’ve been working on our attacking play, particularly in the first half.

Sebastian Polter

Due to the World Cup, the break between competitive games for Schalke will be around two months in total. “It’s obviously something new for us all,” stated Polter. “I’m looking at it in a positive way. It’s given us more time to work with our new coach and learn his style of play. Even though I already know Thomas Reis from our time together in Bochum, he’s a new coach for all the other players.”

Praise for Bülter

Reis used 21 players in total during the friendly in Croatia on Friday, with Polter making way at the half-time break. The attacker impressed during his 45 minutes on the pitch, especially with his goal. “I knew that Bülti often likes to knock the ball in front of him and then cross it with his second touch. My back-heel finish was just pure instinct really,” explained Polter. “The ball was a little bit behind me so I couldn’t really attempt anything else. I knew immediately that I’d caught it well.”

The tall centre-forward also won a penalty in the first half. Chidozie Awaziem blocked his shot with his hand and Marius Bülter converted the resulting penalty. Soichiro Kozuki from the U23s, who was also on the scoresheet in the 2-2 draw in Vienna a week before, got Schalke’s third of the night in the second half.

We can’t be conceding four goals.

Sebastian Polter

However, the home team scored three times after the break and came from 2-1 down to win the friendly. “We can’t be conceding four goals,” said a frustrated Polter, who wants the whole team to be more compact and to defend better from the front.

The next game is on Thursday away to VfL Osnabrück (22/12, 19:00 CET), the final match of 2022 for S04. The squad will then have a short break from training following that. “Just like the fans, we will be able to switch off a little bit over Christmas before heading to Belek for the training camp on 2nd January. After that, we need to be ready for the second half of the season,” summarised Polter.