Continuing with the same intensity

Clemens Fritz gives his weekly Werder update
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As usual, Clemens Fritz was on hand to give updates on Tuesday (photo: WERDER.DE).
First Team
Tuesday, 12.01.2021 / 12:54

Following the draw at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, SV Werder got underway with training on Tuesday with all eyes now on this weekend’s home clash against FC Augsburg. As usual, Clemens Fritz was speaking to the media and gave updates on the most important topics of the week.

Clemens Fritz on...

…Tahith Chong: “I think that in contrast to the summer, his defensive work has really developed and improved. We brought him in because of his individual quality and his pace, which has been something missing from our team. But there's still a lot of room for improvement, that's clear. He has to be able to use his speed more effectively and drop deep to offer himself as an option when we have the ball. It's also important that his first touch is consistently good. He has to keep working on these things and also on showing courage and self-confidence in the opposition box. You can see that he's got an incredible amount of talent but he has to put it to good use. Of course, this won't happen overnight, and we know that his time in the Bundesliga is a step on his journey. Tahith is very devoted to developing his game, and on the one hand that’s good because it shows he’s willing and keen to learn, but maybe it’s a bit too much for him.”

…young strikers from the U23s: “The way in which Eren Dinkci, Nick Woltemade or Kebba Badji continue to develop depends a lot on how things stand in the Regionalliga. This is something that we are dealing with intensively at the moment as the entire team is getting no match practice and the end of the season is coming into sight. There are a lot of question marks, but one thing is clear: we are doing our utmost to build up young talents and we want to develop the boys as much as possible. For a loan to happen, the terms must fit us and the player. It doesn't do us as a club any good if these players don’t get a chance elsewhere.”

Milos Veljkovic is becoming stronger every game (photo: nordphoto).

…the Leverkusen game: “Compared to the Union game, it was a huge improvement in terms of our mentality, defensive shape, presence, and teamwork all over the pitch. Against Leverkusen, we saw a Werder team who were desperate to get something out of the game and give their all to perform solidly at the back. In the second half, we should have been a bit braver when Leverkusen made mistakes and made more use of the spaces that we were given. I would say that's currently our biggest problem: we are getting it right at the back but we're not doing enough up front. We're well aware of it and we're working hard to fix this. It's something that concerns all parts of the team, not just two or three players.”

…Milos Veljkovic’s performance: “He played very well in the summer but then was unlucky with injuries and faced a few setbacks. He did very well at the weekend and put in some great tackles against Leverkusen's fast and strong attackers. Milos had a great game and slotted in seamlessly.”

…the squad: “As it stands, Milot Rashica is an option for the Augsburg game again, but it's difficult for me to say how long Davie Selke and Niclas Füllkrug will be able to play. I think it’s possible for both to play 45 or 60 minutes.”

…the Augsburg match: “With their style of play they are always a tricky opponent because they come at you with intensity and tough tackling. That has to be clear to everyone. It’s about being positive to counter that, like we did for long periods of the Leverkusen match. We have to show commitment and a willingness to run on the day. We know Augsburg’s strengths, but we will concentrate and set up positively.”

…the poor home record in recent months: “Obviously we haven’t managed to beat all the teams we’ve faced at the wohninvest WESERSTADION, but one thing has been very clear in the last few games. I think that I speak for everyone at Werder Bremen when I say that we are sorely missing the fans. We are missing them a lot. I hope that it will soon be possible to play in front of crowds again, and that we will then see plenty of Werder wins again. In the meantime we will keep working on the things that we can influence.”

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