Wolf ahead of derby: 'Display passion and the right mentality'

Register the second win in his third game as head coach of the Werkself: In the home clash with FC Köln on Saturday, 17 April (kick-off: 18.30 CEST), Hannes Wolf is looking to pick up the next points in the race for a European spot as well as presenting Bayer 04 fans with a second derby win in the current campaign. The 39-year-old has a certain amount of experience in derby games.

The brilliant 4-0 win in Cologne in the middle of December was followed by Hannes Wolf, "but we don't want to look too far back in the past but instead concentrate on tomorrow," declared the head coach on Friday. "It's about winning the next derby. And to do that we have to play good football but also display passion and the right mentality on the day."

In addition to defensive solidity, as already shown in Wolf's first game against FC Schalke 04 (2-1) and most recently in the 0-0 draw against TSG Hoffenheim, it is now about creating more chances. Wolf: "We’re at home and we are playing for a place in Europe. Of course, we want to score goals. Tomorrow would be a very good evening for that."

Managerial change at FC Köln

With the opposition, Friedhelm Funkel will be in the dugout again as the FC Köln head coach for the first time at the BayArena on Saturday. The 67-year-old coached the team from Cologne 20 years ago and started his second stint at the club on Monday. Before that, Funkel was the coach at Fortuna Düsseldorf for four years up to the start of 2020. "In that time, he had different approaches to games. Therefore, it will be good for us to focus on ourselves," said Wolf. The Werkself head coach is not expecting FC Köln to adopt destructive and defensive tactics.

Wolf and derby experience

Wolf has already experienced games like the one between Bayer 04 and FC Köln in previous points of his career. As a youth coach with Borussia Dortmund he played against FC Schalke 04. In his first team roles at Stuttgart there were clashes with Karlsruhe, and at Hamburg SV the rivals were FC St. Pauli. "I've already been involved in several derbies and am totally aware of the significance of this match. Now it's about Leverkusen coming out on top against FC Köln and increasing our points return to seven with the addition of three more points."

Match information:
Broadcasters: Sky and Werks11 Radio
Referee: The match officials will be announced on the day of the game

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