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…his personal break ahead of training restarting: I found it difficult to switch off. On the one hand, the disappointment with the outcome of the cup final lasted a bit longer. On the other hand, I obviously planned the start of training with Simon Rolfes (sporting director, ed.) and my coaching staff, and I watched top international football nearly every night.
…the results of the coronavirus testing on Wednesday and Thursday: Everybody tested negative in both sets of tests.
…the forthcoming Europa League tournament in North-Rhine Westphalia: It’s interesting, very interesting. We’re in a good position in the Round of 16 tie against Glasgow (Rangers) - (3-1 win in the first leg, ed.) - but we’ve still got the second leg to play. It is possible to win a title in just four games in two weeks. We, the coaches,are prepared and now we’ll get the team ready. But it doesn’t make sense to look further than the game against Glasgow Rangers.
…the circumstances around preparing for the Europa League tournament: It was important for the players to get the two weeks off to clear their minds and switch off – even though that is difficult in such a short space of time. We’re facing a completely different run-in than for the Bundesliga restart in May. The break was short and we’ve been able to gather important experience in relation to the new circumstances since the restart.
…content of the preparations: The basic fitness is there and that hasn’t changed in the two weeks. Therefore, we don’t need such a long and intense period of preparation as we would in the summer. We’ll see where the players are up to in the training sessions.
…the current situation re the squad: The players are the same for the Europa League as with the Bundesliga and the DFB Cup. We can’t use loan players or summer signings. On the new season: I’m a coach who likes to work with a small squad. Quality ahead of quantity. But it doesn’t make any sense to me to deal with this issue before the Europa League. We want to be in this tournament to the end. Then we’ll work hard on planning.
…the future of Kai Havertz: Kai is with us for the start of training and I expect him to be available for the Europa League.
…the start of the Bundesliga shortly after the Europa League tournament: Nobody can know whether this short break will be an advantage or disadvantage. This situation has never happened before and it’s new to everybody. We’re trying to deal with the circumstances as best we can and see that we benefit from it. We won’t have long to prepare and the players are coming off the back of a heavy workload. It’s physically impossible to give your all for 90 minutes in so many games in such a short space of time. At some point, the body says stop. That’s what I fear as a coach. Therefore, it’s about planning and controlling the workload as best as you.
…his impression of football in other European leagues: I like the football more than I thought I would. Normally, the spectators provide a special atmosphere. I thought the games played behind closed would turn into friendlies. But that’s not the case. I like the level. I’ve watched some big and interesting games over the past few weeks.
Bayer 04 welcomed 14 media representatives from Africa on Friday, 1 December. The trip for journalists from the likes of Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mozambique, Togo, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Togo was organised by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) with the goal of establishing and promoting Africa as a new target market for the Bundesliga.Show more
Bayer 04 has modernised its media working area in the stands at the BayArena and equipped it with new, multifunctional monitors. The 50 screens will be used for the first time for the fixture against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga next Sunday, 3 December (kick-off: 17:30 CET) and offer the media representatives working at the BayArena on matchday numerous possibilities.Show more
Bayer 04 have little time to recover from their 2-0 win away at Häcken in the UEFA Europe League, ensuring progress to the round of 16, before their next challenge up against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Sunday (17:30 CET). At his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, head coach Xabi Alonso spoke about BVB and gave a warning about not losing focus.Show more
Spirits are high at Borussia Dortmund following their impressive display and result away at AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. On Sunday (17:30 CET), they want to keep an impressive week going with another scalp in Leverkusen. Here’s the lowdown on our next opponents.Show more