Saturday, 05/02/2011 @ 15:30 (GMT+1)
Press Conference (Thursday)
Opening statement Jupp Heynckes: “Lars Bender returned to the training sessions on Tuesday and will join us in Nuremberg. The victories against Mönchengladbach and Hannover have boosted our morale, my team has trained with a lot of intensity this week. This is needed as Nuremberg is a difficult opponent. We saw that in the BayArena (0:0) in the first part of the season. A similar or even better performance as against Hannover is needed to win in Nuremberg.”
Question: Helmes already informed you at the beginning of January that he wished to move to another club. Was there a back-up plan in case he would leave Bayer 04 or were Kiessling and Derdiyok as centre-forwards considered as sufficient?
Heynckes: We were the opinion that no further signing was needed in case he would leave us. Apart from the mentioned Derdiyok and Kiessling, I also consider Jørgensen as a very promising player for this position. He and Domagoj Vida, have not had many opportunities to play and therefore don’t have the sufficient confidence on the pitch to show their full potential. I am convinced that both will become good Bundesliga players in the future. The squad is well balanced and has a lot of quality, but we also know that with 3-4 injuries the situation is different. With a slightly smaller squad, there will be fewer players that are unhappy with their role in the team, although this has never been a problem.
Question: What makes you optimistic that we won’t see again a decline in this second part of the season?
Heynckes: Analysing the second half of the season 2009/10, we came to the conclusion that the squad and bench we had available played a huge role in this decline. If injuries are kept at a minimum this time, I have no worries. Success is not only determined by the coaching quality or the so called philosophy, it majorly depends on the players. We saw that for example at Bayern Munich with the absence of Robben, now that he has returned they are getting better results. If we don’t suffer too many injuries, we can be successful both in the Bundesliga and in the Europa League.
Question: In the free-kick training just before the press conference, we could see a lot of laughter. Especially Michael Ballack was in a good mood. Would you say that he is relieved from all the pressure of the press after 2 good games?
Heynckes: It’s normal that he is relieved. He has been through a lot in the last 7 months. You could see how happy he was in the interview after the game against Hannover. He has a good standing in the team. His teammates are the opinion that he is the kind of the player that we were missing to achieve even greater things. I think if Michael continues to improve his physical condition he will be a very important player to us.
We will repeat the same line-up as against Hannover.
Line-up Nuremberg (from Kicker):
See you all in the Chat tomorrow!