No need to get the calculator out

The press conference ahead of the away trip to VfB Stuttgart

Ole Werner speaks during a team huddle.
Ole Werner is looking forward to the game against VfB Stuttgart (photo: WERDER.DE).
First Team
Friday, 03.02.2023 / 16:15

SV Werder can be sure of strong away support as they travel to face VfB Stuttgart this weekend. The away end is sold out, with around 4,500 fans expected. “There’s always a good atmosphere at their ground, so it’s definitely a game that could get very loud,” Ole Werner looked ahead to the match at his pre-match press conference.  ​

Werder’s head coach answered questions concerning the squad news in the build-up to the match against the currently 15th-placed Bundesliga side. For example, Mitchell Weiser (suspension) is ruled out of the game, and so he was asked how the right flank would shape up as a result. In addition, Manuel Mbom, a possible replacement with experience at right wing-back, will miss the game due to injury. “If we’ve got one thing going for us, it’s that we might be a little more intelligent than our opponents. We’d like to uphold this advantage for as long as possible,” explained Werner, who can feel confident after a positive week of training completed by his squad. “When you’re missing a few players at training, then it can sometimes be quite difficult. Despite this, we’ve done well as a group, and the sessions were of a good quality,” summarised the 34-year-old. “However, the only thing that matters now is how you play on the pitch, against a team who, in my opinion, are in good form and whose performances don’t reflect the number of points they’ve actually picked up.”


All the key ingredients for “a really good game of football”

Stuttgart’s performances since the winter break have particularly stood out to the SVW head coach. “The team has changed tactics a little and there’s been some comings and goings in the changing room, which of course shakes things up a bit,” commented Werner. “Also, the way in which they defend is very compact and they’re aggressive in possession. They’ve got pacey players all over the pitch and this makes them a threat at hectic times in a match, for example on the counter attack. They’re in good form, but so are we, as we showed last week against Wolfsburg. Therefore, I think it’s going to be a really good game of football.” 

Even though the Green-Whites could secure vital points to take them further away from the relegation zone (Stuttgart are close to the drop zone themselves) with a win on Sunday, Werner doesn’t currently want to hear about the table. “There’s no point looking at the league standings too much on matchday 19. It’s instead more fruitful to concentrate on how we’re performing and how we can further develop as a team. Maybe we can start focusing on points and positions in April,” said the head coach. “But until the, we just need to make sure that we’re picking up every point we possibly can. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against or where they are in the table. When you’re preparing for a match, the table can be misleading, just like the situation is with Stuttgart and how they are not to be underestimated. Therefore, there’s no point in getting the calculator out ahead of this weekend.”

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