Ahead of the first match in the second half of the season in Berlin on Saturday, 8 January (kick-off: 15.30 CET), Robert Andrich talked to the media on Wednesday about…
…his thoughts ahead of the match: I’m really looking forward to seeing familiar faces – including players, coaching and other staff. I would have liked to welcome the travelling fans from Berlin alongside our own. Unfortunately, that’s not possible due to the current situation.
…the position on the pitch ahead of the clash between the teams lying fourth and seventh in the Bundesliga: We had the chance to get a breather over Christmas and now we’re starting again straightaway with a cracker. For us, it will be about standing up to Union’s physical and battling approach from the first minute and showing our quality on the pitch.
…the development of the team from Berlin, now in their third season in the Bundesliga since being promoted to Germany’s top flight in the summer of 2019: Union are having a very decent season as expected. They have also dealt very with playing in Europe (in the Europa League for the first time, ed.). Now you can say they are an established part of the Bundesliga. A key role is played by their coach Urs Fischer. Week by week, he succeeds in getting his lads onto the pitch as a unit regardless of which players are available. That’s typical of Union.
…his current relationship with its former Union Berlin teammates: I had two great years at Union and definitely didn't leave under a cloud. Although there's no regular contact any more, you don't forget about it. I've sent messages to Urs Fischer from time to time and congratulated him on wins in Europe and the derby victory against Hertha. I'm also in contact with Niko Gießelmann.
…The differences and parallels between the Union and Leverkusen styles of play: Of course, we want to have more of the ball and be proactive in the game. But one thing the two sides have in common is the great significance of compact defending and fast transition.
…his role in the Werkself squad: I try to take my teammates with me in my way. I think I can encourage one or two with the way I express myself, either one-to-one or in front of the whole team. It's completely normal to be louder at times. That's part and parcel of it. We are just trying to make every player better. We have so many lads with incredible potential. So it's a case of teasing it out of every individual player.
…aggression on the pitch: We have to be smarter in challenges in certain situations. Fouls are part of football. We have to be more more direct and aggressive. We've talked about it and hopefully that's clear to everybody.
Monster Energy has been a partner in the Sponsors Club at Bayer 04 Leverkusen since the start of the 2023/24 season. Monster Energy has shown their products at Werkself home games on the LED advertising hoardings at the BayArena. Monster Energy activated the next stage of the partnership with the current Bundesliga league leaders for Bayer 04’s home game against Union Berlin in the middle of November. Monster Energy will continue to present themselves as a reliable and ambitious partner to Leverkusen fans through similar promotional events as at the game against Union Berlin.Show more
Bayer 04 involvement with the ‘Kältegang Leverkusen’ project continues this winter. The current Bundesliga league leaders and their fans again presented financial and in-kind donations to the homeless charity at home game against Borussia Dortmund (1-1).Show more
The Werkself remain unbeaten after the 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Bundesliga Matchday 13. The one-sided game demanded a lot of strength of nerve and competitive spirit from Xabi Alonso's team. In the end, Victor Boniface rewarded the relentless attacking efforts of the league leaders against passive but efficient visitors. The Werkself review.Show more
Bayer 04 were held to a 1-1 draw by Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga. Julian Ryerson had put the visitors in front at a sold-out BayArena after only five minutes. Leverkusen would go on to dominate proceedings and finally get their deserved equaliser through Victor Boniface in the 79th minute. It’s a result that extends the Werkself’s unbeaten run in all competitions this season to 20 matches.Show more
For the 17th time, Bayer 04 Sportförderung gGmbH has awarded the Volunteers Award for outstanding commitment to football in Leverkusen and the surrounding region. The three outstanding clubs in 2023 are BSV Roleber 1919, TuS 05 Oberpleis and SV 1924 Glehn. They will each receive prize money of €5,000.Show more