Assistant coach leads the way – Sven Bender praise

The workload moved up another level at the training session on Tuesday, 15 January. In the final open session ahead of the first game of the second half of the season against Borussia Mönchengladbach, the focus was on a competitive format that the Werkself pros completed with gusto.

"We really got stuck in," said Sven Bender. "But that's what we need now. We don't have much time before the start of the second half of the season."

In the absence of Peter Bosz, who was away from Leverkusen due to a private matter, assistant coach Hendrie Krüzen led the training session. And the long-standing colleague of Peter Bosz pulled out all the stops. In the practice matches on small pitches, he again and again fired up the pros, let the players not taking part do circuits and carried on playing even in the event of small knocks.

However, one player took a hit before the end of the session. Paulinho was left lying on the ground after a challenge. The Brazilian suffered a wound to his mouth and was sent to the dressing room as a precautionary measure. According to the medical section, it is probable that the 18-year-old will be back on the pitch with his team-mates in the next session on Thursday.

The underdogs came out on top in the mini-tournament. The Green team had to thank  keeper Lukas Hradecky above all for their triumph and he insisted on a group photo with the winners after the final whistle. The Finland shot-stopper shared the limelight with Lucas Alario, Sam Schreck, Tin Jedvaj, Adrian Stanilewicz, Mitchell Weiser, Dominik Kohr, Herdi Bukusu and Leon Bailey.

There is no squad training on Wednesday; the sessions on Thursday and Friday will not be open to the public.

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