'We'll have to play with maximum intensity and passion'

The final midweek fixture of the year is here. Before Saturday's home game against Hertha Berlin (22 December, 15.30 CET), the Werkself are away to Schalke 04 on Wednesday (18.30 CET). Ahead of the match at the Gelsenkirchen Arena, Heiko Herrlich faced the press at Media Centre at the BayArena on Tuesday afternoon.

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The Werkself head coach talked about...

…the personnel situation: "Lars Bender (muscular problem in his right thigh, ed.) most probably won't be available at Schalke tomorrow. Otherwise we'll be at full strength with the exception of the long-term injuries Joel Pohjanpalo (rehab after ankle injury, ed.) and Panos Retsos (rehab after thigh injury, ed.)."

…the challenge against supposedly crisis-hit Schalke: "For us it's about the three points and we want to take them. I'm not interested in the situation at FC Schalke – their mental state and what their targets were at the start of the season. In our analysis of the opposition we look at their current situation and the way they've played football in the last few games. We try to prepare our team as best as we can."

…attitude: "We have to be ready to push ourselves all the way and we'll have to play with maximum intensity and passion. Those are the basics going into any game."

…the potential of Schalke playing a long-ball game: "We're ready for that. It was no different against Frankfurt: As soon as we pressed them high up the pitch they tried to hit a long ball. We tried to find the answer in a way that would avoid  having to concede goals. We'll try to defend against that again tomorrow."

…his own feelings given the current rumours about a successor: "My feelings aren't important for the game against Schalke or the one against  Hertha – it's about the six points we want to get from the two games. The players have to get on top of motivation, focus and feelings themselves – and that applies equally to the coach. For me, it remains the same that I concentrate on the important issues and forget about everything else."

…the pressure on him: "Of course, there is pressure but I put the most pressure on myself. And we need to do that as a team to achieve our targets."


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