Daniel Caligiuri: We can’t rest on our laurels after the derby win

Daniel Caligiuri played a huge part in the derby victory, scoring twice. This, however, wasn’t his first great performance against the Black and Yellows. The 31-year-old has been involved in seven goals in his last four meetings with BVB. Schalke04.de spoke to him about the moments before his penalty, his free-kick that made it 3-1 and the significance of the game.

Daniel Caligiuri

Daniel, not many experts had expected Schalke to win the derby. How did the team approach the game?
Our main aim was to stay compact and fight as hard as we could. Anything is possible in a derby – these games are similar to knockout games in the DFB-Pokal. The teams’ positions in the table aren’t massively important. We simply believed in ourselves and played as a team. Everybody fought for one another.

What was going through your head when Mario Götze gave them the lead after 14 minutes?
I knew that we would come back and give an answer. We did that last year after going 4-0 down (smiles). It was then important that we reacted in the right way and showed that we can fight. Aside from their second goal, we didn’t give them much space.

You equalised from the spot just 04 minutes later. What were you thinking as you ran up to take the penalty in front of the Yellow Wall?
It was very, very loud, but I blend everything out when I’m taking a penalty and just concentrate on my shot – which is exactly what I did.

I was playing well and believed that I could score.

Daniel Caligiuri

You then scored a second goal in the 62nd minute. We noticed that you were practicing your free-kicks the day before in training…
Yes I was, although I do that regularly. They were going in nicely the day before the derby though. Bastian Oczipka said to me during the game that I should cross it because I was so far out, but I was playing well and believed that I could score. To take such a perfect free-kick was such a super feeling.

It was your fourth goal in the last four derbies. Why are you so successful against the Black & Yellows?
That’s a good question. To be honest I’m not sure why! I try play well in every game. Goals aren’t necessarily what I aim for, the team’s success is more important to me.

You are the fans’ biggest derby hero now!
The team was amazing – we are all derby winners. When I say team, I’m not just referring to the players, but also the coaching staff too. Our fans were the best. They were our “twelfth man” once again.

What impact will the derby win have on the rest of the season?
It will give us a confidence boost for the remaining games. If we carry on playing like this, Augsburg, Leverkusen and Stuttgart will find it very hard to beat us. One thing is for sure: We cannot rest on our laurels after the derby win – we have to carry on working hard.

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