It's the first match with the new coach at the helm: Tayfun Korkut makes his debut as head coach of the Werkself on Friday night as Werder Bremen visit the BayArena (kick-off 20.30 CET). Everybody at Bayer 04 is hoping that the first outing of the 42-year-old football coach will be successful. "A win against Werder would be worth it's weight in gold given the changed situation and also a great sign of an upturn," said sporting director Rudi Völler and head of the clash with Bremen who have recently made progress in the search for a mid-table position with three wins on the bounce (2-0 against Darmstadt, 2-1 at Wolfsburg and 2-0 at Mainz).
"Team is ready, determined and inquisitive"
Tayfun Korkut has his mind on three points on Friday night. "We can talk so much about tactics and their implementation but the main thing is the result and that has to be right," said the new Bayer 04 coach at the pre-match press conference at the media centre at the BayArena. In response to questions about his first impressions Korkut said: "I've met a squad that is very ready, determined and inquisitive. The first foundations are laid for working well together." And the Werkself head coach once again pointed out only having worked on certain areas in order not to overload the players with too much information and changes. "We want to set down two or three key points to improve stability, which has been missing in the past few weeks. At this stage of the season it's all about changing as little as possible but also addressing issues as clearly as possible," said Korkut.
The latter applies above all to the use of space on the pitch. "We have to set ourselves up so we can get at the opposition when we don't have the ball," declared Korkut who has had thorough discussions with the captains and leading players at the Werkself. "We do have the same rules for everybody here but the individual handling of players varies accordingly," declared the coach who did not want to say too much about Bremen: "I haven't thought about who's the favourites in this match and who we are playing is not the decisive factor. The important thing for us is not to lose our strengths, remain flexible and be prepared for any eventualities."
Doubts over Bender appearance
Bayer 04 will be without the suspended Hakan Calhanoglu and Jonathan Tah for the match against Werder Bremen. "Jonathan is making progress but is not an option for this game," said Korkut who also put a question mark over the captain Lars Bender currently struggling with an ankle injury: "We'll have to wait for the final training session then I'll talk to the doctors and the player to see if he can play."
Bayer 04 are expecting a full house at the BayArena on Friday although tickets are available on the night. 29,700 have been sold so far and 3000 fans are expected from Bremen. On this matchday and forthcoming ones, the German Football Association (DFB, the German Football League (DFL) and the Bundesliga Foundation are supporting the international weeks against racism under the slogan: '100% human dignity- together against racism.
Information for fans travelling by train
Extensive work on the tracks means there are changes to the timetable on Friday in Leverkusen Mitte. This affects the following lines:
RE 1 (Hamm<> Aachen) - The trains are running with changed running times. On the weekend of 11+12 March 2017 does not stop in Leverkusen Mitte in the direction of Cologne; use the S6 service.
RE 5 (Wesel<>Koblenz) - The trains between Cologne-Messe/Deutz <> Düsseldorf main station are cancelled. Please use the trains on lines RE1 and S6. A replacement service running on a change timetable will run between Düsseldorf and Wesel without stopping in Oberhausen-Holten and Friedrichsfeld.
S6 (Essen<> Cologne) – Mon. to Fri. one less journey per hour between Cologne <> Düsseldorf. On the weekend of 11+12 March 2017 there will be a reduced number of stops and earlier timetable in the direction of Cologne–Mülheim> Langenfeld (Düsseldorf).
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