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13.10.2021Bayer 04

Tah: ‘We are more mature as a team'

Central defender Jonathan Tah is in his seventh season in a Black and Red shirt and he is one of the leaders in the Werkself squad in spite of only being 25 years old. At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, our number 4 talked about…

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…the forthcoming top of the table clash with Bayern Munich: It's a top match that everybody’s fired up for. We want to produce the same performance levels and the same commitment as in recent games. After the last home game against Bayern (a 2-1 defeat in December 2020, ed.) we unfortunately fell into a little hole. But I'm sure that won't happen to us again this time – regardless of how the game turns out. Even though we have even more younger players than back then, we are more mature as a team.

…the structure within the squad: Last season the Benders (Lars and Sven Bender, ed.) carried a lot of responsibility. It was seen as their job for the two of them on and off the pitch. It's logical that the structure has changed after their departure and now other players have to bear greater responsibility. The coach came to the dressing room from day one with the approach: Every individual has to take more responsibility for themselves and their teammates. That had an effect on the personal development of many of us. And you can see that on the pitch.

…his development and the influence of head coach Gerardo Seoane: Of course, I'm primarily happy about having so much time on the pitch. I feel really good with the new setup – on the pitch and in the dressing room. I think the coach has played a big part in that. Those factors also played a big role in my contract extension (to 2025, ed.). A lot is going in the right direction. I've never experienced the dynamism before that we've used to encourage and support each other and that's produced a fundamentally positive energy. I hope we can carry that through to the end of the season.

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…his role on and off the pitch: I'm not so keen on the word boss and I prefer to describe myself as a leader. When you're older, perhaps you have more awareness of your teammates and you can help others on the pitch with your experience. I decided to do that as best I can. It's always important to coach each other – everybody has to do it. Nobody is allowed to hide. Communication is the most important thing on the pitch.

…his attitude to training: I've worked hard on my game over the past few years. Above all, at the time where I wasn't playing as much. I've always tried to see things positively and communicate that outwardly. And it's worked out: I'm here now and I'm happy to be able to show what I can do on the pitch week by week.

…his possible future in the national team: I'm very happy about qualification for the World Cup and I'm proud of the lads. It's never been a secret that I want to be part of the national team again – and I think I belong there. But I've learned to accept and respect all the decisions of those in charge – regardless of whether I'm called up or not. I can only concentrate on producing my best possible performance on the pitch every day.

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