Alexander Nouri is a happy man. Werder’s head coach can now see new signing Ishak Belfodil in the flesh. The coach made it clear in Thursday’s press conference that what he’s seen so far has been positive. “Ishak has given us a great impression. He’s incredibly flexible and brings lots of qualities to us which give us options because of his skills combined with his strong presence,” Nouri praised the new signing, who’s been under contract at SV Werder for just one week. Belfodil is a candidate for selection in the squad for the Hertha game on Sunday but Nouri isn’t letting his expectations rise too high. “You can’t go through everything with a player in just a few days. He has to adapt calmly and become accustomed to his new teammates. We have to be patient,” continues the head coach.
The 25-year-old reveals how his first few days have felt, what his tactical aspirations are, whether he’s overcome the setbacks of moving cities and if he feels ready for the Hertha game in an interview with WERDER.DE.
WERDER.DE: Ishak, you’ve been in Bremen for a week now. How have you found it?
Ishak Belfodil: “It’s been a really exciting week since I arrived here. I’ve been received so welcomingly by everyone: by the board, the coaching team, the whole club. The players have helped me a lot to feel at home here quickly. It was all very relaxed and I hope this great atmosphere continues into the season exactly as it has so far and that we get the corresponding results on the pitch.”
WERDER.DE: When you came to Bremen you were unbelievably exhausted. Has that gone away now?
Ishak Belfodil: “Yeah, I was pretty exhausted throughout the whole trip. But the rules here are fantastic; you can train when you’re in peak condition. That meant I could rest well to prepare properly for the next game in Berlin.”
WERDER.DE: Has training helped you to adapt here quickly?
Ishak Belfodil: “Yeah, in training we’ve worked on our fitness as much as possible in the short time available and I’ve been in the weights room a lot as well. The drills in training help me adapt tactically on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to better take in all the different roles in our style of play.”
WERDER.DE: Is the playing style something completely different to what you’re used to at Liège?
Ishak Belfodil: Yes and no. We also tried several playing styles there and played with different formations. I’ve played a few different formations in my career so far. Professional footballers should be able to master different styles of play and to adapt their style to fit those systems.”
The here and now is what counts for meIshak Belfodil
WERDER.DE: The team are travelling to Berlin on Sunday. How much are you looking forward to what could be your first game for Werder?
Ishak Belfodil: “Sunday’s game in Berlin will be important and it might be my first away game. It will be interesting for me personally to get to know the league better and better. Berlin are a really good Bundesliga team in my opinion; they’re one of the best in the league. It’ll be a challenge for us but we’re working hard for it.”
WERDER.DE: When you look at the current table, Werder have no points and no goals. Do you feel particular pressure as a forward?
Ishak Belfodil: “Of course, I’ve seen the results of the last two games, but you have to remember that Hoffenheim and Bayern are two really strong opponents. It’s not shameful to not have got any points or goals against these opponents. The here and now is what counts for me. But we worked well in the international break and we’ve prepared well for Berlin. I’m now a part of the team and of course I’d be delighted to score a goal, but I’m concentrating much more on making sure the team is successful and that we win this game. I have to integrate quickly in order to help achieve that.”