“I’m convinced of our strength”

Matija Nastasic could only watch Schalke’s loss to Hertha Berlin from the stands following his controversial sending off against Wolfsburg the week before. The defender spoke to us about the red card, his faith in the manager and his belief it won’t take long to start getting points on the board.

Matija Nastasic

There was a lot to discuss following Matija Nastasic’s dismissal against VfL Wolfsburg: he was sent off after the referee consulted VAR and therefore missed Schalke’s home defeat to Hertha Berlin. “It was definitely a strong tackle, but I played the ball first and then made contact with the opponent. Normally that’s a yellow card,” said Nastasic, who doesn’t want to dwell on the incident anymore: “I’ve moved on and I’m looking forward to being able to play in the next game.”

Despite the losses, Schalke are looking their games in the next few weeks and will try to learn from their mistakes. “We analysed the games and saw what we were doing wrong,” said Nastasic, who is remaining positive despite the poor start: “I’m convinced of our strength and think that we’ll start to step things up in the next few weeks and win games again.”

“We’ve learned how to deal with situations”

Matija Nastasic

Nastasic, who’s been at the club since January 2015, pointed out that there have been difficult situations in previous years, even during the success of last year’s campaign. “We’ve learned how to deal with situations like that. We’ve got great character and players in our team,” added the defender, who is convinced of the team’s quality. “Even though we’ve lost the first couple of games of the season, we’ll stick together as a team and try to push each other forward so that we can improve,” added Nastasic.

Tactically flexible

Above all, the Serb backs the quality of Domenico Tedesco. Despite the head coach’s age, “his mentality, philosophies and tactics aren’t those of a young manager, he’s already up there with the best,” said Nastasic. The defender is sure that the team and the coach will come through this difficult situation together.

Nastasic also believes that in order to get a good result against Borussia Mönchengladbach, the team needs to be more focussed than in the first two games. “If we manage that, we can achieve a lot,” added Nastasic, sending a clear signal: “We’ll use the international break to work hard and then get some points in Gladbach.”

The defender also doesn’t think it’s important whether Schalke line up with three or four at the back: “For me there’s no difference. We showed in pre-season that we can play well in either system. After the international break, we’ll be playing two games in a week a lot, so it’s good that we have different formations at our disposal.”

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