Markus Schubert: I won’t drive myself crazy

He is one of the players who will be in the thick of things in the upcoming games, but all Markus Schubert wants to do is play well and help the team out. The Germany U21 international spoke to about his first few Bundesliga games, the upcoming challenges, his colleague Alexander Nübel and a surprising visit in Fuento Alamo.

Markus, you made your Bundesliga debut on matchday 15 against Frankfurt after Alexander Nübel was sent off. What went through your head when you realised you had to come on in goal?
I can’t remember what I was thinking about exactly. I was mentally prepared to come on as I am in every game – you never know when you might have to come off the bench. That time came against Frankfurt. I asked Simon Henzler a few stupid questions before I came on (laughs). Apart from that I was totally focused and promised myself that I’d help the team out.

How many texts did you receive after the game congratulating you?
I didn’t count, but a lot. It was nice that my family and friends were pleased about my debut.

You played well in the following games against Wolfsburg and Freiburg. Were you pleased to receive praise from the coaching team, your teammates and the fans?
It’s obviously great when this happens. I know not to get ahead of myself just because a few people praised me though. Looking back on the two games, I think they could have actually gone better. I’m still angry about the goal in Wolfsburg, as I think I was fouled. I conceded two penalties against Freiburg – it would have been nice to save at least one of them. We’d have won that game then.

I know not to get ahead of myself just because a few people praised me though.

Markus Schubert

Alexander Nübel will join Bayern in the summer. Did he tell you about his decision before it was officially announced?
No, I first found out when the clubs announced it. I wouldn’t have expected him to tell me either. I had known for two weeks that he wasn’t going to extend his contract.

How is your relationship with him?
Very good. We knew each other before I came to Schalke having played together for Germany U21s. Alex is a great guy, just like Michael Langer and our goalkeeper coach Simon Henzler, who played a big part in my decision to sign for the club. His training is fantastic and I notice that I am improving every day.

You will also play against Gladbach and at Bayern due to Alex’s suspension. How much are you looking forward to these games?
They will be two great games. I’m really excited for the challenges ahead and hope that we can take as many points as possible.

What will happen after those two games?
Schalke will play Hertha (grins).

Put in concrete terms: Who will be in goal against Hertha?
We’ll have to see. I’m not thinking about it yet. I’m fully focused on matchday 18 right now.

You seem to be fairly calm in pressured situations and come across as down-to-earth off the pitch. Is that what you are really like?
Yeah, that’s just how I am. I won’t drive myself crazy. My parents always told me when I was younger that I shouldn’t change myself. I still follow that advice. I wouldn’t feel happy trying to be or do something that I’m not.

Ralf Fährmann will return to Schalke after his season-long loan at Norwich in the summer. Do you know each other personally?
I met him when he was completing his rehabilitation at Schalke a short while ago. We got on immediately. It was a great first impression and he’s like hulk (laughs).

Ralf Fährmann is like Hulk.

Markus Schubert

You have been at Schalke for more than six months now. How long did you take to settle into life here?
Not long. The lads helped me integrate very quickly. I found a flat quite soon as well, although I couldn’t move in straight away so I spent a while in a hotel. I finally felt at home in Gelsenkirchen once I’d moved into the flat.

Germany U21s coach Stefan Kuntz visited you in Fuente Alamo. What did you speak about?
I didn’t know that he was coming to Spain, so it was a bit of surprise when I saw him! Stefan asked how I was, how the past few games had been and how I was feeling in general. We also spoke about the forthcoming U21s games.

How do you think the training camp went?
We worked really hard. I started training a day late due to an infection, but I was able to make up the lost time quickly. The conditions in Spain were great and the hotel was good. We had everything that we needed. We have a few more days of training left before the serious stuff starts again with the game against Gladbach.

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