Host: Let's start today with something easier for our press conference with our away game at SC Freiburg. The kick-off is on Sunday at 3 p.m. Welcome head coach Thomas Reis and who
would like today with the first question, to begin with the obligatory Dirk Schlarmann for Sky.
Sky Dirk: "Hello short question Personal Update is coming, yes? Something new every week."
Thomas Reis: "Yes, gluck auf. In last week's round, I said yes, we could have 25 outfield players or that was the plan. That has changed and it happened relatively quickly. Nothing much to say about that.
Cedric Brummer, Tim Skarke, and Ralf Fährmann are all unavailable for this weekend’s match after picking up injuries against Hertha. Maya Yoshida (muscle injury) and Éder Balanta (knee) also won’t feature. Balanta tweaked his knee in training this week. Fortunately, it’s nothing serious. I think that he will be able to return to training soon, but will not be available for Freiburg.”
Sky Dirk: "Schalke plays Sunday means while everything is running a bit stupid, yes we know you are under a lot of pressure. How much psychological disadvantage is this Sunday's game in this relegation battle?"
Reis: "We know that we still need several points. We need to be able to withstand the pressure. We can’t influence what happens in the other games. We need to keep a clear head and have the right mentality in order to take points off a strong Freiburg side."
Andreas Ernst for WAZ: "So lucky that Alexander Schwolow will be the guy in goal, who is well known to Freiburg. How did he do this week in training? What did you observe? Tell us about the trust you have in him.
Reis: "Alex has always worked hard. He’s got 194 Bundesliga games under his belt and we know what kind of performance he’s capable of. He gives me and the team a good feeling in every training session.”
Max Backhaus for the Bild Zeitung: "Yes in your last sentence you have now almost already answered what I did want to ask. How to go about such a week then, with a keeper like Alex? A guy to date, who did not have a great season. He had played and then was benched. Before when he was on the bench you did say that you also praised him but heading into this game this week are going to say anything to him, not talk to him or you just let him do what he has to for the concentration of this week?"
Reis: "Yes we will for sure, he's number one. Two sentences speak to me and are more and more important. Now in this situation, it will be natural that this change has now happened through an injury. It must take place. When he was originally benched he acted very, very well. So I think he did well because we let him be and kept talking to him. It left him just completely in peace. He just focused on the workout and then he really did give a very good impression, a concentrated impression. Of course, now there is another tension. Because when you are the number two keeper then in training you can go full throttle knowing you will be on the bench. But now, together, he knows he will be playing and so I'm glad this impression he has conveyed. And if there is still a need for discussion this week, I would like to speak to him again. But for now, I think it is just better just to give him a few days in training and then I'll say a little something to Alex."
Hauser Zeitung: "You just went into a little detail about why SC Freiburg is a great opponent. Can you go a bit into detail about why this team is so strong?
Reis: "Freiburg’s team has grown together over the years. They are a physical side that invests a lot of energy into their games, including the coach – who I have a lot of respect for. My first match as Schalke's head coach came against Freiburg earlier this season. Since then, the team has undergone strong development. We have improved in several areas, but also know that we’ve not achieved the maximum possible yet. Sometimes, we fall back into our old ways. However, we have always picked ourselves up after experiencing a setback, an important quality when battling relegation. The important thing is for us to be brave. We’re one team, which you need in our situation. Everyone is there for each other. That gives me a positive feeling heading into our remaining games.”
Backhaus: "What has the video analysis revealed where Freiburg can be beaten? What potential is there that maybe was not used in the first leg and what did you do wrong in the first leg? What is different now that would have to be done specifically?
Reis: "Yes, if I now tell everything, of course, then I'm preparing the opponents also a bit before we know. Yes, we weren't given much space and were not brave enough. We didn't push through with our offensive players and pushed up way too high and far from the goal to defend at the back. That's all the points where it was noticed okay. You have to help the crew and get some compactness in, get a little more courage, and also actively defend. That has changed definitely with us, yes. We own the ball. We know with Freiburg there will always be room, with the outside position, and with Günter, who is a player who always goes on the offensive, and of course, we have to hope to get a win on the ball to create that space. We then have to also be brave and have fast forwards. But as I said, it becomes important to play
we will adjust to a very, very physical presence and strong opposition and we are preparing for that. Be ready also possible for an element of surprise as well.