David Wagner: A good dress rehearsal in a competitive environment
David Wagner gave a positive summary of the past few days in Fuente Alamo and the performances in friendly matches after the final whistle at the Volksparkstadion. "The game at Hamburg was a challenge after the training camp and the journey back, and the boys handled it very well," said the Schalke head coach.
“I was pleased with a lot of things against HSV. Both strikers and two substitutes scored, and we had some good attacking moves, while keeping a clean sheet in the process,” explained Wagner. “But I won’t over-hype the game or the 4-0 result. Especially since there is still room for improvement in some areas. We had one or two moments where we weren’t strong enough and the spacing was wrong.”
Another week until the start of the second half of the season
It was important to play the friendly in a competitive environment. “The temperatures were far from ideal, but we got what we wanted – a competitive game a week before our game against Mönchengladbach,” explained Wagner. “We now have a week left, which we will make good use of.”
``We now have a week left, which we will make good use of.``
Wagner couldn’t say whether or not he will keep the starting line-up the same against Mönchengladbach next week. “A lot can happen in a week,” said the coach. A lot of the players in the match also turned in good performances, in particular Michael Gregoritsch. The Austrian scored his first goal for the club on his first start.
“Even if you take away his goal, Michael played well. He was a part of some good build-up play, tackles, and played really well defensively,” Wagner said, praising the man on loan from FC Augsburg. “You can see that he has really subscribed to our style of play.”
Nice to see your own name
Gregoritsch said it was exciting to see his own name among the goalscorers on the scoreboard. “i just flicked my foot towards the goal and then it went in,” explained the forward. “I think that as a team we have performed well altogether. Of course, at some points we looked rusty, but that’s normal. I still think we’re in a good position for the start of the second half of the season.”