'We're trying to build up the players'

The Werkself end Bundesliga matchday nine on Sunday (18.00 CET) away to third-placed Werder Bremen. Following the defeat in the Europa league at FC Zürich, Heiko Herrlich's team will be looking to gain the necessary confidence ahead of the DFB Cup tie at Gladbach (31 October, 20.45 CT). At the pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, the 46-year-old head coach of the Werkself shared his views on…

…the personnel situation: "There are no new injuries. today we had a shortened session on the training ground for those that didn't play or didn't travel to Zürich. Julian Baumgartlinger also completed the whole session – he's making great progress. We'll have to wait and see how he feels after tomorrow's final training session. Charles Aránguiz wasn't able to train today – he should be able to take part in the final training session tomorrow but I'm not very hopeful he will be fit for Sunday."

…dealing with the current situation: "I've not given up hope nor lost my belief. I'm convinced we can master this difficult situation. I want to set the example of the mentality we need to turn it round now and continue to try and get us back on track. We are all focused on the game against Bremen."

…the game against  Werder Bremen: "Bremen are on a great run and they've done really well since Florian Kohfeldt (SVW coach, ed.) took over: They defend well and have a very flexible attacking game. Nevertheless, we have a plan of how we want to compete and defend against that. This morning we talked to one or two of the players individually about that."

…the accusation of not being compact: "In the Bundesliga you can almost never be compact for 90 minutes and not concede any chances, above all when you're playing on the front foot. The opposition obviously try to counter when they win possession and look to round off attacks as quickly as possible. For example, in the game against Borussia Dortmund we succeeded in breaking up Dortmund being compact for over 65 minutes. We will try to do that again at Bremen. And, on top of that, we will try to correct our own mistakes and concede as few chances as possible. And, of course, we have to be much better with set pieces than we have been."

…the current susceptibility to make mistakes: "At the moment, we keep making mistakes that get punished with goals. And again yesterday we conceded two goals where we should have defended better in the build-up. In part, they are little things that shouldn't happen. We've clearly discussed these mistakes and have attempted to strengthen awareness of them – so that we can defend better in such situations if they should happen again."

…criticism in the media: "If the results aren't right then it's mostly completely justified to be critical. It's not the  fault of the press we don't have many points at the moment as that's down to us. And most of the players see it like that too."

…increasing pressure: "I'm very resistant to pressure. I played football myself a few years and know exactly how to deal with it. In the first few years I very much took it to heart when I didn't produce the performances I was expected to. At the end of the day, you like to repay the trust other people have shown to you. And then there was the criticism from outside on top of that. But you obviously mature and learn things over the years. I put the most pressure on myself. Over the years I've had so much negative criticism, which was justified in part and unjustified in other parts. The important thing is that I can go home at night and look in the mirror – I give my all every day and I can't do any more. I can handle the criticism being a bit malicious at times. The journalists are also only doing their jobs. That is absolutely okay for me and, in spite of that, I try to be respectful."

…the lack of conviction in the team: "Last season we were the team with the second most goalscoring opportunities. This year it's less but, for example, we had our chances in our last home game (2-2  against Hannover, ed.) – only one or two players lacked absolute conviction in front of goal. The fact we didn't score those goals meant we missed the opportunity to turn the game in our favour. We discussed that but we're not having a go at them but instead trying to build them up."

…discussions with the club management: "We talk about the situation, analyse it together and look where we can improve it. Bayer 04 were in a very difficult situation two years ago. Nobody wants us to go down that road again."


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