“Facing the challenge head on”

The press conference prior to the clash against 1. FC Köln

Ole Werner at training carrying a football.
First Team
Thursday, 21.09.2023 / 14:42

SV Werder head coach Ole Werner responded to a series of questions from journalists prior to matchday 5 of the Bundesliga against 1. FC Köln, which is set to be played at a sold-out wohninvest WESERSTADION on Saturday evening (23/09/23 at 18:30 CEST). “We’ve managed to move past the disappointment of the last game,” shared Werner. “I’m satisfied with how the past week of training has gone, and now it’s up to us to prove at the weekend how hard we’ve been working.”

1. FC Köln have also had to deal with adversity last week after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Hoffenheim on Saturday. Although both teams failed to get the points they were aiming for in their last fixtures, they aren’t too concerned about their current position in the table at this stage of the campaign. “Of course, our aim is to win every game,” explained Ole Werner. “Both teams want to have more points on the board, which will be apparent throughout the match on Saturday. However, we aren't feeling the same sort of pressure that we usually would at the end of the season.”

Steffen Baumgart’s team are known for being one of the hardest-running teams in the Bundesliga and will therefore bring a lot of intensity to the game, which Werder will need to match if they want to come out on top. The SVW coaching staff have analysed the strengths of their upcoming opponent: “They press aggressively, are direct in possession, and strong on the counter,” shared Werner. “Both teams have a distinct style of play, which I don’t expect either of us to deviate from. I’m anticipating it to be a very even game.”

The club’s new signings will likely make an appearance at the weekend, including Naby Keïta, who is in the squad for the first time since his move to Bremen and could be brought on for his debut against Köln. Both patience and determination have been crucial in helping the team gel this season. “It's our second year since promotion and we’re having to work really hard,” Werner explained. “At the moment, we're going through a bit of a rebuild and are concentrating on every stage of our development. It’s been proven that this process will bring its ups and downs, as we saw against Mainz and then against Heidenheim, however, we're facing the challenge head on. Our priority is ultimately to be able to play better football than we did last season.” The focus is now on securing the three points at home against Köln.

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