'We're confident we can build on the Bremen result'

On Wednesday (20.45 CET), the Werkself play third-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach in the second round of the DFB Cup. In the knockout game at Gladbach's Borussia Park, the two Rhine rivals battle for a place in the last 16. The day before the clash, head coach Heiko Herrlich fielded questions from the media. Before the Tuesday afternoon training session, the 46-year-old coach shared his views on…

…possible absentees: "Charles Aránguiz and Julian Baumgartlinger are back in full training but after yesterday's session both felt for different reasons they weren't advanced enough to be able to play tomorrow. Of course, we'll wait and see what happens in this afternoon's training and tomorrow's final session."

…Charles Aránguiz: "Charly was sidelined in the pre-season and he still needs a couple more sessions. Based on the adjusted training during the last few crowded weeks it was difficult for him to have adequate team training where he could play in practice matches of 11 against 11 or eight against eight for a longer period.

…Julian Baumgartlinger: "Baumi isn't far off now. Before he went off injured at Pforzheim at least he had completed the whole pre-season. He had (in contrast to Charles Aránguiz, ed.) a foundation at least and had played lots of games.But now he doesn't feel completely secure in challenges and that's why we'll most probably not take any risks. He's got to be convinced himself."

…injured players: "Lars Bender Is still struggling with a cold, which is why I took him off on Sunday night. He was feeling more like it yesterday and today he'll do some training. Sven Bender also had a bit of a knock. Like Jonathan Tah, we won't overwork him. He felt the spot on his thigh was hardened again and that was the reason he didn't travel to Zürich. And Karim Bellarabi had problems in the Bremen game with his groin in the same place it was operated on. He still had problems yesterday so we rested him. We hope they recovers quickly so that he can play again. We'll take a final decision on which players are available early tomorrow morning (after the final training session, ed.)."

…the Bremen match: ""We are confident we can build on the Bremen result. And also that we are  perhaps likely to recover quicker mentally given the performance and the result. Anticipation levels are high. We want to go through to the next round at Mönchengladbach and that's obviously our target."

…enjoying the 6-2 win at Werder Bremen: "Enjoyment as a negative touch in football  as the Sepp Herberger maxim says: 'After the game is before the game.' Of course, we were all happy but that doesn't mean we haven't prepared as best we can for the game at Mönchengladbach. Julian Brandt said after the Bremen match that we've raised the bar and we want to repeat that performance. I believe that's what the team want to do. But we definitely want to build on that boost."

…the cup game in Mönchengladbach: "It's a great and attractive challenge, which we achieved last year (1-0 win in Round of 16, ed.) under difficult conditions. We want to do the same again this time round."

…the opposition:  "Borussia Mönchengladbach  have an incredibly  strong team that isn't at the top end of the table by accident. They have a strong squad, great talents and have great options up front. It's always difficult to defend against the Mönchengladbach  attack. We saw that on Bundesliga matchday one (0-2, ed.) and Bayern Munich also suffered the same fate. We will try to defend well but also look to create our own chances – just like we did in the first half of the game earlier in the season where we just didn't manage to get the ball over the line.

…the approach against Gladbach: "There is always a more offensive basic approach and a more defensive basic approach: You just have to see what's the best way to counter or eliminate the strengths of the opposition. In attack you always have to try, regardless of the system you're playing, to have men over to get to the last third and put in a cross or create a shooting opportunity. Freiburg were the last team to do that against Mönchengladbach with the back for  but it's definitely also possible to achieve that with a back three or back five."

…Karim Bellarabi: "Karim came back from his break highly motivated and has given 100 per cent in all training sessions and tried incredibly hard to put in a performance in the friendlies. Then there was the event in Wuppertal (heatstroke, ed.) and that set him back. Also because we had to see that we didn't overstretch him and were able to bring him back to full training – we had to be careful because of the climatic conditions. He missed the first games but then came on against Bayern Munich and quickly picked up the red card. He was really disappointed after that but remain highly motivated. Against Larnaca he actually had a very good game – and provided two assists. And his performances in the last three matches have been clear: in 190 minutes he scored four goals and provided three assists – that's a great return. At the moment is doing the things I demanded from him last season."

…his personal relationship with Karim Bellarabi: "We've had lots of conversations. I've asked him again and again whether he is still hungry and if he has problems that certain people says he didn't have that hunger any more. There I felt  he saw himself being attacked and wanted to prove that he still has the hunger. And we've seen that in recent games. I hope we can keep that going for a bit."

…the continuing good form of Kai Havertz: "His form is impressive. The most important thing is that the lad stays fit and healthy – we can't afford to forget how young he is. On Sunday I took him off with ten minutes to go and at first he wasn't happy with that as he definitely wanted to carry on playing. He's on fire and it's just fantastic to have a player like that and above all to see how hungry he remains because he has his feet on the ground without any airs or graces and really enjoys his football and also tries to do different things on the pitch.


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