Ralf Fährmann: Passion and togetherness
Until Saturday’s 2-0 win over SC Freiburg, Schalke had never gone five Bundesliga games in a row without conceding. We spoke to Ralf Fährmann on this landmark and more achievements on the horizon as a reward for the team’s efforts of late. Schalke’s skipper also warns of the dangers of thinking about the derby in a fortnight’s time when they face Hamburger SV this weekend.
Ralf, congratulations on a new clean sheet record! Did you know after the final whistle in Freiburg that you’ve reached a new milestone?
Yes I was aware but it’s not a personal record – it’s one for the whole team to celebrate. The defensive works starts at the front. For instance, when you see Burgi giving his absolute all helping the team out in all areas, it shows clearly that this is an accolade for us all to celebrate. Therefore, I’m not easy with the idea that keeping clean sheets is solely down to my efforts.
How long do you think the clean sheet record can go on?
I don’t want to say. As normally then, the exact opposite of what you think happens. I’ve experienced that many times before. Therefore, I think it’s best to not talk it up too much.
Defensive work starts at the front.
The clean sheet record isn’t the only milestone on the horizon. Saturday’s 2-0 win means Schalke are level with their all-time record for consecutive Bundesliga victories with six. With a win against Hamburg, you can make history!
We’re simply taking each game as it comes and hoping to play to our potential each time. In recent weeks, we’ve managed that and we want to keep doing so. We don’t go into a game saying we want to break a record or anything like that. Our goal is simply to get as many points on the board as possible.
Critics say that Schalke’s football isn’t attractive. What do you have to say to those people?
It’s all about your viewpoint. We’ve defended very well and are getting the best out of the means we have. We’re showing passion and togetherness. Quite simply, we work well as a team. I think those who enjoy watching games full of passion will enjoy our games.
You got a lot of support from the stands during and after the game. After the final whistle versus Freiburg, Guido Burgstaller was in the Nordkurve. He told us that he had no idea what to do and you told him what to do. Is that true?
Burgi is quite a reserved guy and it was a bit out of his comfort zone but I think that he enjoyed himself with the fans. You don’t forget moments like those in your career.
The derby is still a long way away in our minds. First and foremost is the game against HSV.
After the game, you couldn’t ignore the fact that the fans are already getting excited for the derby. Is it the same for you too?
The derby is a long way away for us yet, even if the calendar suggests it’s only a few weeks away. First of all, we have to head to Hamburg. That’s what we’re fully focused on as we all know that despite their standing in the table, it will be very, very difficult. It’d be negligent of us as a team to start thinking about the derby already.
What are your thoughts on HSV?
It’s hard to say due to their new manager in charge. Christian Titz has made personnel changes and created new impetus around the club. We’re not looking at the table and go into the game with the same mentality which we did in recent weeks.
You fought against relegation during your time in Frankfurt. Are you able to put yourself in the shoes of the Hamburg players?
Absolutely. When you’re down the bottom, it’s tough going. However, you’re also able to use the backs-to-the-wall situation to come together and achieve the unexpected. Hamburg will give everything they’ve got to turn their ship around. We have to be ready for that.