David Wagner: Concentrate on what’s important

Nübel transfer, the captaincy, potential ins and outs, the training camp: After the first training session in Fuente Alamo, coach David Wagner spoke about the current issues surrounding the club.

David Wagner on…

… the training camp in Fuente Alamo:

All the players are really excited to get going again, that much was clear from the first training session, since all the players didn’t even want to leave the pitch at the end of the session. We don’t have much time to prepare ourselves for the second half of the season, even if the break isn’t exactly as long as the summer one. The players have had a chance to relax and recuperate, and now the hard work is well back underway. The results we got from the initial fitness tests before the training camp were really good, so we’ve been able to get back to concentrating on our football really easily.

… the transfer of Alex Nubel:

After Alex told us over Christmas that he wouldn’t be extending his contract here at Schalke, it was no surprise for us that he’s decided to go Bayern Munich. I’m just happy that the announcement was made before the start of our training camp and that we don’t have new speculation everyday anymore. Now we can concentrate on what’s important, and that’s not individuals, but the team as a whole. We have lots of challenges coming up in the next few months and I’m absolutely convinced that Alex will give everything he can until his last game for this club.

… choosing a new captain:

Alex and I came to an agreement that we had to choose a new captain. We laid out all the pros and cons and came to a decision that we felt was best for the team. If Alex wasn’t going to have as much influence in the dressing room, keeping him as captain would have only served to cause unrest. That doesn’t mean that Alex isn’t still a very important part of our group. Our new captain will be Omar Mascarell – he’s taken on this role with great pride in the last two and a half games for us.

We want to build on a successful first half of the season.

David Wagner

… who will stand between the posts for Schalke in the second half of the season:

For me that’s not even up for debate. Schubi put in some great performances whilst Alex has been away and we really hope he can continue that until Alex gets back on the 31st January. Whatever happens after that, happens.

… expectations for the Ruckrunde:

We want to build on a successful first half of the season. Thanks to our good play, we’ve made it a possibility for ourselves to finish in the top six or higher. But we know that it’s not over and we have to keep pushing on because there are about nine or ten teams fighting for those spots. Before the season we didn’t know if it would be possible, and now we have the chance to do something special. We’ve spoken about this a lot in our first few days in Fuente Alamo and everybody in this squad is committed to making that a reality. I just hope that every single player in our squad will get the support from the fans.

… ins and outs in the winter break:

Jochen Schneider and Michael Reschke have been doing a great job in recent weeks, not just on the ins but also on the outs side of things. No player who we’ve brought to this training camp should be in question of a transfer, because that last thing we want is unrest within the dressing room caused by transfer speculation. We have brought in a great new option going forward in Michael Gregoritsch. The only possible ins we could have will be reactions to losing players, for example through injury. Currently, we have nothing else planned.

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