Bosz ahead of Schalke game: 'We are very solid'

Three days after the Europa League win at Nice (3-2), the Werkself are away to Schalke 04 on Sunday 6 December at 18.00 CET (live on Werks11 Radio and Sky). Immediately after returning from Nice, head coach Peter Bosz attended the pre-match press conference at the media centre in the BayArena ahead of the away game against the Royal Blues.
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Due to the bad weather in Nice, the Bayer 04 team and staff set off for Germany a couple of hours earlier than planned. The recovery session was originally to be held on the Côte d'Azur but the coaching staff moved the Friday session to the afternoon in Leverkusen due to the heavy rain in Nice. The head coach was asked about the absence of Tin Jedvaj due to illness: "I haven't spoken to the physios yet but if he can train again today then it is possible he may be back on Sunday." The 57-year-old was unable to make a prediction about Lucas Alario or Sven Bender other than to say they would have to at least train on Saturday to be in with a chance of playing in the away game in Gelsenkirchen. Mitchell Weiser will definitely return to the squad.

The Werkself were able to continue the winning run in the Europa League on Thursday night even without the prolific goalscorer and the key defender. Speaking at the press conference after the 3-2 victory at Nice, Bosz highlighted the mentality of his team and he repeated that ahead of the 76th meeting with Schalke (32 wins, 23 draws, 20 defeats). "From the start of the season we’ve really played like a team. The players are doing very well. Every coach is happy to see his players consistently produce good performances. That has a lot to do with organisation – and we've got that right. We've been working with a lot of the players for two years. They know exactly how we work as a team against the ball, with the ball and in turnover play. And for example, that's how we can prevent counter-attacks from our opponents. Defensive work all over the pitch is working. When we lose the ball then we quickly get it back. At the moment we are very solid."

Bosz added: "Even though we struggled with the final ball against Hertha in the league they did not get many chances." You need that "solidity" to compete at the top.

The Werkself are away to bottom-of-the-table Schalke 04 on Sunday. While Bayer 04 are unbeaten in ten games this season, the Royal Blues are waiting for their first Bundesliga win this term – over the two campaigns that stretches to 25 games. Bosz is not afraid that Schalke 04 will break that run on Sunday: "Being afraid of losing a game: I’ve never felt like that. And I won't address that with the team. But we know that Schalke are not playing that badly as the position the table might suggest. You can see their quality at times as in the recent game against Gladbach." Bosz added that confidence does obviously suffer if you go for so long without a win. Heads quickly drop at that point.

It is quite the opposite for the Werkself who go to Gelsenkirchen in confident mood. "We'll approach the game seriously. It's an important match for us," declared the Dutchman.

Bosz was also asked about the postponement of the DFB Cup game against Eintracht Frankfurt from 23 December to 12 January: "The fact is we have hardly had a pre-season just like Bayern. We've played the highest number of games in 2020 along with Munich. For me it's logical that our cup game has been postponed. That means we can give the players a couple of days more holiday and better control the workload."


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