Satisfied with the training camp in Benidorm
Getting match practice is more important than the result in a friendly, and Schalke got plenty of it in their 2-2 draw against KRC Genk on Friday (11th January). “70% of the training camp was focussed on attacking. The good thing is that you could see that, regardless of the result against Genk. The boys did really well,” said Domenico Tedesco.
All in all, it was a good, high-intensity game against the side that currently sit top of the table in Belgium. “We were in their 18-yard box and in the final third quite a lot and created several chances for ourselves,” said Tedesco. Mark Uth and Alessandro Schöpf were able to convert two of these chances. A third goal had looked to be on the cards, and would have been deserved.
Outstanding time in Benidorm
Christian Heidel felt that the game was positive, as were the whole nine days in Benidorm. “The coaches were pleased with the attitude and performance from the team, as well as the atmosphere and team spirit. The conditions in Benidorm were outstanding. We already knew the hotel and the site from the past couple of years, but this time it was arranged even better than in previous years. It was the best,” said Heidel.
“We’ve prepared ourselves well for the Rückrunde,” said Benjamin Stambouli. Domenico Tedesco was also pleased: “Everything’s in order after the short winter break.” The players will now rest a little before returning to Germany. Schalke return to Bundesliga action on Sunday 20th January, welcoming VfL Wolfsburg to Gelsenkirchen.
Tough, but in a good way
Christian Heidel knows that the game against Wolfsburg will be tough. “Despite that, we’re all looking forward to it. The game is definitely important for us, but it’s not a final. We can’t push ourselves to the limit, otherwise it’ll become too much,” he said.
One negative from the game against Genk was the substitution of Salif Sané in the 89th minute. “He felt a little twinge in his thigh. We’re not expecting him to be out for long,” said Tedesco. Schalke will get a better idea of the injury back in Germany.
The game is definitely important for us, but it’s not a final.
Schalke are also hoping that Nabil Bentaleb will be available for the game against Wolfsburg. “His departure was just a precautionary measure,” explained Heidel. “The therapy is working. His feedback was very good. If it had have been up to Nabil, he’d have been back on the plane on Thursday so that he could play against Genk,” added Tedesco. Things will be tighter with Suat Serdar, who hasn’t been with the rest of the team for the second half of the training camp. “If he’s out injured, then it’ll just be for one game,” explained Heidel.
A transfer must make 100% sense
Tedesco also commented on whether Schalke would have any new signings in their ranks for the game against Wolfsburg: “I already said at the start of the training camp that any transfer wouldn’t just be about the speed at which we could bring someone in. Of course, it would have been nice if we could’ve presented a new signing in Benidorm, but it’s much more important that it makes 100% sense,” said the head coach.
Heidel was also holding his cards close to his chest in regards to transfers: “It’s like always, we’ll announce something if we have something to announce, and we won’t engage with speculation.”