'We definitely want to take all three points'

The international break is over and the Bundesliga is entering the final phase of the year. Tomorrow, (Friday, 20.30 CET), the Werkself kick off matchday 12 against bottom-of-the-table VfB Stuttgart. Head coach Heiko Herrlich faced the media at the pre-match press conference today. The 46-year-old boss shared his views on…

…the personnel situation: "We have a full strength squad – all the players are fit and well except for a couple of knocks. Except for our long-term absentee Joel Pohjanpalo (rehab training after ankle injury, ed.). It will probably be January before he's back on the pitch."

the approach to the home game against Stuttgart: "We absolutely want to win the game. We definitely haven't picked up enough points in our home matches this season. We want to put that right on Friday and take all three points. We owe that to our fans."

…the opponents: "Stuttgart were very ambitious at the start of the season; they wanted to get into Europe. They strengthened their squad to achieve that and even brought in a World Cup winner (Benjamin Pavard, ed.). But the league is very tight and they got off to a bad start. Even after the change of coaches they lost three games in succession but then showed they could win against Nürnberg (2-0, ed.). They will definitely want to build on that win. We'll have to do all we can to stop them and see that we can get back on track."

…the 3-0 defeat at RB Leipzig: "Our performance in the game in Leipzig was no good at all – regardless of how strong and ambitious the opponents are and how high up the table they are. Now we're playing a team who are bottom at the moment but they do have a stronger squad than that. Nevertheless, there are no excuses for us. We definitely want to take all three points."

…working through the Leipzig game during the international break: "We've trained in small groups in the past couple of weeks and worked a lot individually too: In order to be able to restore players like Charly Aránguiz and Panos Retsos to the starting line-up, we've worked them harder. With players who have been in action every three or four days, we have given them more time off. Almost all of them were back here yesterday for the first time (Issac Kiese Thelin and Paulinho were still away on international duty, ed.) and we looked at the game again using videos. We are all agreed there was a lack of the intensity against Leipzig that we all expect – week-in, week-out at that. The main point for tomorrow's game is to produce that passion on the pitch again."

…targets: "We're not looking far ahead but instead focusing on tomorrow's game. It will be a big challenge and we we want to win. We want to take all three points. And we'll see what happens after that. But we'll have to give 100 per cent to get the win."

…transfer rumours re Kai Havertz: "I think it's make believe that other clubs have only shown an interest in Kai Havertz over the past few weeks. A lot of them in Germany and Europe know about his qualities. But he has clearly stated his intention to stay at Bayer 04 in the immediate future and he only signed a contract extension last year."

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