Karel Geraerts: I like the atmosphere at training camps

Tuesday (02/01) saw FC Schalke 04’s preparations for the second half of the season begin in Albufeira. After the first session, Karel Geraerts chatted to schalke04.de about the training camp, goals and personnel situation.

Karel Geraerts on…

…the winter break:
I spent an enjoyable Christmas with my family. I haven’t been able to see my wife and kids every day in the last few months as they’re back in Belgium, so it did me a lot of good to spend that time with them. They helped me recharge the batteries, and now I’m full of energy for the challenges ahead.

…seven points from the last three games:
The results have helped us, but I’m still not completely satisfied. Of course, seven points is a good return, but we also dropped two points. It’s important that we keep that form going in the next weeks and continue to develop. The recent trend has been positive, and we also had a couple of solid results before those last three games of the year. We have to demand consistently good performances of ourselves and keep on picking up points regularly. We’ve already taken steps forward, but there are still plenty to go.

…the training camp in Portugal:
I think being together as a team around the clock for more than a week is very important. We want to work hard on the pitch, but also grow as a team away from training too. A training camp offers the perfect opportunity for everyone to get to know each other better. I like the atmosphere at training camps and am very happy that we’ll spend nine days together in Albufeira.

…goals for the training camp:
We want to be well prepared for the restart, and that means laying the groundwork during this training camp. The players had a number of days to switch off after the final game of the year, and now you can really sense that they’ve recharged and have also been working hard on their individual fitness programmes. We want to improve in every aspect in Albufeira, whether it’s our defensive play, our finishing or any of the details that can decide a game. Of course, we’ll also do some fitness work, but the focus during the training camp will be on football.

We want to improve in every aspect in Albufeira, whether it’s our defensive play, our finishing or any of the details that can decide a game.

Karel Geraerts

…talents from the Knappenschmiede academy:
Five lads from our youth teams are on board in Niklas Castelle, Jimmy Kaparos and Steven van der Sloot from the U23s, and Vitalie Becker and Max Grüger from the U19s. I like working with young players, and it’s important for a club like Schalke 04 to invest in home-grown talents.

…players who still aren’t 100 percent fit following injuries:
We made a conscious decision to bring players along who are still recovering and can’t take part in team training yet. For the likes of Leo Greiml it’s about being part of the atmosphere and spending time with the team while he continues his recovery. I’m convinced that it will be beneficial to him. Assan Ouédraogo will need some time still until his fully fit – he won’t be an option for the restart. Marius Müller will be able to rejoin team training here in Marbella though.

…the first-choice goalkeeper:
Ralf Fährmann is the number one. He has done a good job in recent weeks. The ball is in Marius and the other two goalkeepers’ court; they have the chance in training to show me that they’re better. The competition will help every single one of them, because the lads all push each other.

…potential new signings:
Of course, you always want fresh impetus and new energy in your team as a coach. However, I feel it’s important to stress that I’m happy with the quality of the squad. We will see what happens by the end of the transfer window. It has to be the right fit, both in a sporting sense and financially.

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