Leon Goretzka: Dreams became goals
After a 1-1 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach, Schalke lie in second place with a six point gap to fifth place and two matchdays to play. The Royal Blues have a very good chance of participating in next season’s Champions League. Schalke04.de spoke to Leon Goretzka about the game against the Fohlen and the final fixture.
Leon, how do you value the 1-1 draw with Gladbach?
We needed to digest the Nabil Bentaleb sending off. First and foremost, we wanted to get to half-time. In the dressing room, we came up with a new plan. Fortunately, we have a head coach who can help us when we’re a man down. At the break we said, “If any team can do it, it’s us!”. Then, we put in a very solid performance.
In the second half, Schalke were arguably on top…
Absolutely! We had the majority of the chances. You have to be happy when you play for that long a man down and get a point but, on reflection, it looks more of a lucky point for Gladbach than is. I had a good chance myself after the break. It was frustrating as I would have loved to score.
Why is it that the team with fewer players were closer to winning?
It’s a phenomenon you often see, The team a man down has nothing to lose. After the sending off, we gave everything we had. The atmosphere at the stadium was unbelievable. That’s invaluable when you’re a man down as it pushed us on. You think you have nothing left in the tank but you keep sprinting. The atmosphere definitely levelled the playing field. It made it more annoying that I didn’t score. I could have at least got it on target (smiles).
How do you rate the situation going into the final two games?
We’ve worked so hard this season. We had a dream which, over the course of a season, has become reality. We don’t want to give it away now as we’ve done so much to get ourselves in this position. We want to take the next step. You saw that in Gladbach. If we perform like that in our last two games, we’ll manage it.