Breel Embolo: "I am getting better week by week"

After his brace against Borussia Mönchengladbach last season and fracturing his fibula, Breel Embolo had to wait another year for his next Bundesliga goal. On Saturday (16.12), after coming on as a substitute, he was the driving force behind the Royal Blues’ stunning comeback against Eintracht Frankfurt. The Swiss man spoke to about the match and the shape he is in.

Breel Embolo, how did you feel after the 2-2 draw in Frankfurt?

Sort of like in Dortmund, it felt like a victory. We have a brilliant team spirit and we continued to work until the final whistle. You could see how much we wanted that equaliser. The hard work paid off against Frankfurt just like it did in Dortmund.

What did you think of the game?

They are a team that can make it very awkward for you. I don’t think that we deserved to be 2-0 down as we had been the better team. We showed how great the character is within the squad. I am just happy that we came back to get a point in the end. We wanted to end 2017 in the Bundesliga on a positive note. And we did that. Three points would obviously have been better but we are satisfied after the way the game went and we can go into the DFB-Pokal game in a good mood.

The 60 minutes against Borussia Mönchengladbach helped me a lot. I also came on against Augsburg and had a few good chances. My confidence is increasing constantly as I get more game-time.

Breel Embolo

Your substitution seemed to be the catalyst for the comeback…

Personally for me, it went really well. But my goal would’ve meant nothing had we lost. We wanted to get that point. When I come on, I try to enjoy myself and do what I can to help the team. It worked out well on Saturday. I am really happy that I got the first goal. It was a great pass from Guido Burgstaller. The fact that we got the equaliser through Naldo, made my goal that bit sweeter.

How far away are you from getting back to the old Breel?

I am getting better week by week and I am getting more of a clear head during games. But I don’t want to speak about the old me and compare where I am at now to him. I don’t want to talk about my injury. It doesn’t help to do that, for me mentally. Because of that I want to forget about the old Breel and create a new one.

You can tell that things are coming easier to you now than they were a few weeks ago…

A lot of it is about my self-confidence. The 60 minutes against Borussia Mönchengladbach helped me a lot. I also came on against Augsburg and had a few good chances. My confidence is increasing constantly. No player can play well when they aren’t playing with confidence. I have felt that a lot recently. It is a bit of a shame that it is now the winter break. But it’s lucky that it’s a short one (laughs).

Schalke are ending the year in the DFB-Pokal against 1. FC Köln. What sort of game are you expecting?

It will be a really tough game. We experienced for ourselves how tough an opponent they can be on their day a few weeks ago. They have a lot of quality that belies their position in the league. We need to play better than we did last time against them. We want to end the year with a win and get to the quarter finals.

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