Even though the DFB-Pokal game against Energie Cottbus took place away from home, Pieper felt that it was a good first test, particularly after conceding the late goal. “We were in control of the game for a long period, had lots of chances and took two of them. The stadium is always going to be loud when they get a late goal like that. We passed the test in the end though.” The next test is against VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, who have a few lads that Pieper knows well. “They’ve got a lot of individual quality in their ranks. I know some of them really well from my time with Germany U21s, at the Olympics and from Bielefeld (Patrick Wimmer). They’ve got a really, really good team.” Nonetheless, the defender believes every game is open and we will just have to see how tough it will once the game kicks off.
Pieper believes that the team will be well prepared for the clash at the Volkswagen Arena. “You could sense everyone taking training a bit more seriously once the first competitive game approached. Despite that, everyone is still relaxed enough, which is a really good thing about this team. We are still fully focused and up for it once we step out onto the pitch. The German is enjoying Ole Werner’s style of play, even if it means he sometimes has more to do as a defender. “Our approach is brave. We want to get forward and control the game. Nevertheless, we will prepare for each opponent differently and speak about how we want to play. We will always adapt our idea of playing. I really enjoy this style of football. It’s a different kind of game, where you can control the match and the pace of it and you can still do that without committing too many risks.”