“They hardly let you breathe”

Clemens Fritz at the press conference ahead of the home game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Fritz at the press conference.
Time will tell whether head coach Ole Werner will be on the touchline on Saturday (Photo: WERDER.DE).
First Team
Thursday, 23.11.2023 / 14:55

On Thursday afternoon, Director of Football Clemens Fritz answered journalists’ questions at the press conference ahead of the home game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday, 25.11.2023 at 15:30 CET. Unfortunately, Ole Werner was not present due to illness. “It makes a difference when the head coach isn’t there, but we have a good set-up within the team,” Fritz said. It will be decided in the coming days whether he’ll be back on the touchline on Saturday.

The Green-Whites are aware that it’s not going to be easy to beat the current leaders Leverkusen. However, it’s not impossible. “It requires self-confidence and courage. We need to believe in our way of playing and try to produce this on the pitch. This challenge demands concentration from the first minute,” Fritz explained. Werder will have to be able to adjust to and deal with Leverkusen's style of play. “It’s important that you believe in yourself and are quick to take your chances to get forwards when in possession.” Leverkusen do that unlike any other side. Fritz answered the question as to whether they are facing off against the future champions here: “If they keep playing like they are at the moment, then it’s quite possible that they win the league. They hardly let you breathe and they’re really dangerous in transition.”

Despite the international break, not every Werder player was able to relax; those on international duty had a full schedule and mostly celebrated victories with their respective nations. The additional game time could even be helpful for those players, according to Fritz. “Everyone is coming back having had positive experiences, which I would like them to replicate and pass on here.” On Marvin Ducksch’s debut, the 42-year-old emphasised: “He’s full of beans. Playing for your country motivates you and gives you self-confidence. You just back yourself more and you’re ready to take on more responsibility.” That energy will be important for the fixtures against top teams.

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