David Wagner on the last friendly of pre-season and Ibisevic, Uth and Rudy

David Wagner spoke to the media following yesterday's 3-0 friendly victory over Bochum.

David Wagner

David Wagner on…

… the performance against VfL Bochum:
We were very solid in defence and used our chances well going forward. The whole team was really compact and well-organised. We had a few more opportunities to score too. We’re going in the right direction, but this game doesn’t mean more to me than any other in pre-season. Some things worked well and others didn’t. You always have some friendlies that are better than others in pre-season. We still have a lot of work ahead of us. We’re disappointed about Matija Nastasic’s injury – he has a head wound and he had to go to hospital for stitches.

… new signing Vedad Ibisevic:
He has a great attitude and you could see that as soon as he signed. Vedo had other options, including some which would have clearly been more lucrative, but he wanted to play for Schalke and he wants to help the club. We’re happy that Vedo is part of our team. He poses a real goalscoring threat and has lots of experience; he’s always been an important part of his clubs both on and off the pitch in the past.

We’re happy that Vedo is part of our team.

David Wagner

Vedo didn’t play against Bochum as he’s only trained with the ball twice with us. We wanted to give him another day of training. With Werner Leuthard’s help, we want to get him fit as soon as possible. Vedo is in good shape, he’s been working with a private coach, but squad training is something completely different. We’re planning for him to take part in a friendly against the U23s alongside the boys who got little or no minutes against Bochum. I want all the players to get 90 minutes in their legs this weekend if possible.

… possible new signings:
It’s not easy in the transfer market this year due to the current circumstances. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, we, like many other clubs, are in a totally different position. We all need to get used to that and deal with the situation. That’s why I’m not driving myself crazy about it. I’m concentrating on working with the boys that we have here in the squad. I’m really looking forward to the task ahead.

… Mark Uth’s form:
He was really good against Bochum, very agile, and he scored a goal too. Mark also created some other good goalscoring opportunities. I was really pleased with him. He’s gained a lot of confidence from his strong performances in the Rückrunde at Köln. It wasn’t easy for him last year, he was injured for a while at first, then he returned to the squad when the team was playing really well in the Hinrunde. It’s a completely different situation now. Mark is fit, he’s giving it his all, playing well and having fun.

It’s important for me and the club that Mark gives it his all, invests in the side and plays well. And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

David Wagner

Jochen Schneider has recently said all there is to say about 1. FC Köln’s continued interest in Mark’s services. Mark still has two years on his contract with us, and we don’t want to discuss his availability as he’s firmly in our plans. 100%. It’s fine that Köln think he’s a good player and it’s understandable that Mark enjoyed his time in his home city. Even the fact that Mark has come out and said that isn’t a problem. It’s important for me and the club that Mark gives it his all, invests in the side and plays well. And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

… Sebastian Rudy’s role:
He’s played at right-back in the last two seasons, and I think he’s done a really good job there. Right now, he’s the player who can help us the most in this position. Sebastian is a smart and really experienced player. I had a long and open conversation with him a while ago. We have lots of midfielders, but not so many options at right-back. I told Sebastian that I consider him our best option at right-back. I hadn’t even got to the end of the sentence and it was clear – Sebastian is relishing this challenge.

… the goalkeepers:
I’ll make a decision by the middle of the week on who will be between the sticks for the start of the season. I’ll then share my decision with the boys. Ralle has had a really good pre-season so far and Schubi has been a little unlucky. First, he was ill, and then he missed two friendlies due to Coronavirus restrictions.

… who will be captain:
I’ll also discuss that with the squad in the next few days. If a change is made, we’ll discuss that internally first and then share that information publicly.

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