Working hard together

An interview with Theodor Gebre Selassie and Ludwig Augustinsson
Theodor Gebre Selassie has returned to team training (Photo: WERDER.DE).
Wednesday, 12.02.2020 / 11:02

Theodor Gebre Selassie and Ludwig Augustinsson have been sorely missed on the pitch over the past weeks, as the two have had to watch from the stands recently. Both made their returns to team training this week, and are glad to be back. WERDER.DE checked in with the duo to ask how they’ve withstood the enforced break, where their current fitness levels are at and what will be key in the battle against relegation.

Your injuries meant that you had to watch the last few weeks from the stands. How did you guys follow the games?

Theodor Gebre Selassie: “I tried to be with the team as much as possible and to plan my individual sessions at the same time as the team’s in order to see the boys and to talk about the games with them. I was at the stadium for our home games, and watched the away games on TV at home.”

Ludwig Augustinsson: “I think our first half against Augsburg was okay, but we weren’t strong enough in the second half to take anything from the game.  We played what was probably our best game of the season against Dortmund, and several people though that we’d continue in that same vein. But, football doesn’t work that way. We did not play well against Union.”

WERDER.DE: How fit do you feel at the moment?

Gebre Selassie: “I feel fit, but I can’t say whether it will be enough in time for this weekend.”

Augustinsson: “I’m doing better. I’ve worked hard over the last four weeks. Yesterday was my first day back to team training. That felt good. We’re trying to add a bit more every day. We will wait and see how my thigh reacts to that.”

“I tried to see the positive side”

Lzdwig Augustinsson has also returned to team training (Photo: nordphoto).

WERDER.DE: How does it feel to finally be back on the pitch?

Augustinsson: “It feels great. I’ve really missed this feeling. It’s very frustrating to not have been able to help out the team in this phase. But now I’m optimistic that everything will get back on track.”

WERDER.DE: Was it helpful to be able to go through recovery with Theo?

Augustinsson: “Yes, that was perfect. Theo is a good friend of mine within the team. He’s also a full-back and he adds a lot of quality to every session. We were able to challenge each other in training, which was great.”

WERDER.DE: We barely saw you here at the wohninvest WESERSTADION, Theo. What did your recovery program look like?

Gebre Selassie:(Laughs) I was always here. I did my rehab training here and only went to the Czech Republic over the Christmas break. I had my own physiotherapist there.”

WERDER.DE: Theo, unfortunately you’re well-acquainted with the relegation battle given the past few years. What will it come down to over the next few weeks?

Gebre Selassie: “Sticking together as a team is the most important thing. That sounds like a no-brainer because it’s what everyone says, but we have to have the right mentality and our performance as a team has to be right. It will be difficult to do so without this team spirit. For all of us, the priority is that all our injured players get back to full fitness as soon as possible. We need to have options. If we then have a bad day, then we’ll at least be able to react.”

WERDER.DE: Your last long-term injury was in 2014. Did you have to adjust to being in this situation once again?

Gebre Selassie: “It was quite a long time. My injury against Bayern was very unfortunate. I tried to see the positives in it. It could have been a lot worse, and now it’s over.”

WERDER.DE: We witnessed a strong performance against Dortmund. What signs do you see that point towards the fans being able to witness something similar in the Bundesliga again soon?

Gebre Selassie: “On Tuesday, we saw that we can do it. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to show it in the Bundesliga recently. It’s very frustrating. We need to approach every game like we did the one against Dortmund. Every game is a six-pointer from here on. Our situation is very serious. We need to do it how we did against Dortmund, no matter who our opponents are.

Augustinsson: “We have the quality needed within our team, and there are still several games left to play. Having watched from the stands, it’s difficult to say where exactly our performance problems against Union came from. Personally, I was not expecting us to play the way we did against Dortmund following our game against Augsburg. Against Union, you could tell that we were lacking self-confidence and that the pressure from the rest of the league is very high. The reasons for that are difficult to explain, but the result is very frustrating. I hope that I will soon be able to help out again.”

WERDER.DE: Why will we be able to win away against Leipzig?

Augustinsson: “It will be a difficult game. Leipzig were top at Christmas and have a lot of quality. But, we were able to win against Dortmund and we’re able to win against several teams in this league. That gives me confidence.”

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