7.07.2021Bayer 04

Seoane: ‘We want to give the team an identity – not just in terms of football'

Gerardo Seoane successfully completed his first training session on Tuesday morning and then the 42-year-old was presented to the media in a virtual press conference. Sporting director Simon Rolfes and the new Werkself head coach responded as follows.

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Simon Rolfes on…

…the reasons for appointing the Swiss as the new Werkself head coach: We quickly noticed in our discussions that Gerardo is right for Bayer 04 both on a personal and sporting level. He impressively demonstrated his technical qualities at Young Boys Bern, he won the league there three times and dominated Swiss football with his team. In addition, he showed he can develop a team and also individual players – above all young ones. That's an important aspect for us as we have very many young players in our ranks.



…his impressions of Seoane's work from the Europa League Round of 16 matches against Young Boys in March where YBB twice beat the Werkself: The fact Gerardo was doing very good work at Bern didn't just become clear to us from those matches. He was very clever against us with his approach and line-up and he opted for a different style of play from the one the team was used to in the league. That shows he chooses the right approach at the right moment. That flexibility is important.

Seoane: "tough to play against us"

Gerardo Seoane shared his views with the media on…

…his first impressions: The first three days were very busy. My two assistant coaches Patrick Schnarwiler and Alberto Encinas and I moved into the Lindner Hotel. We've had lots of meetings with different sections to talk about future cooperation. We have been able to get a picture of the great infrastructure at the club. And we finally got to meet the first players at the performance tests. I'm looking forward to everything.

…his targets for the coming days and weeks: The primary target now is get to know the team and give them an identity – not only in terms of football but also in respect of attitude and approach. Everybody knows Leverkusen have very good quality players. We have to bring about a feeling that it's tough to play against us – on and off the ball.

…the preferred training and playing style of the Swiss with Spanish roots: It's my job to field the best possible side from the players available. Here the offensive and defensive elements play an equally central role. These days, you can't afford to give anything away at any point in the game.

…the Bundesliga: Only ten teams play in the first division in Switzerland and that means every cub plays each other four times in a season. At some point, you know each other inside out. Of course, it's completely different here. In addition, the teams in the Bundesliga all have a top quality – both in their depth and approach. The past has already shown that all the teams in this league are capable of beating each other. The Bundesliga excites us Swiss – me included.


Initiative, Hunger and Aggression

…new hierarchies and leadership figures in the team: We've lost experienced players in the Bender brothers and Aleksandar Dragovic. I expect several players in the squad to take the next step and fill the gap. We will give individual players more responsibility – we want to achieve that with individual discussions where we clearly set out our expectations. Of course, we want to bring in one or two other components. Overall we have a team that takes the initiative, is extremely hungry and brings the necessary aggression on the pitch at every point of the game.

Patrik Schick, who scored five goals at Euro 2020: we've enjoyed the performance of all our players at the tournaments whether that's our Finns (Lukas Hradecky and Joel Pohjanpalo, ed.) or Exequiel Palacios who is still at the Copa America with Argentina. Patrik has shown what he's about and what his strengths are. I'm very happy to have two such great strikers available to me in him and Lucas Alario.

…his desire for fans at the BayArena: The situation without spectators is extremely difficult for everybody – above all for the fans themselves but also the players. Some of the younger ones have never played in front of a crowd. Even though the pandemic isn't over yet and we have to remain disciplined, hopefully they will gradually be able to come back to the stadiums. We all share that desire.

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