When Florian Kohfeldt speaks about his captain at the training camp in Algorfa, he practically starts rhapsodizing. But after a season so far hampered by many minor injuries, the coach is relieved to finally have Zlatko Junuzovic back where he wants him: on the pitch.
“It is really great to see him conducting himself as he has been here,” said Kohfeldt of Junuzovic, who, this season, has had to contend with an achilles injury, and then recurring calf problems. “Physically he is back in very good condition, something that is noticeable every day,” continued the Werder coach. “From the first training session, you could see his love of football and how much he enjoys it. He is back.”
But after such short preparation time, the 30-year-old’s fitness is not yet back to where it was. “Now, the focus with him is on what he needs most, with the coming game weeks in mind.” Bundesliga recommences for Werder in one week, with a home game against Hoffenheim.
According to Florian Kohfeldt, an important factor regarding the outcome of the first match in the new year will be whether or not Zlatko Junuzovic is ready to play. “Zladdi is a player who is at his best when he’s feeling good,” said the Werder coach with a smile and an arm held out to the pitch. “If he gets up in the morning and feels well, then he’ll play really excellent football.
Something that is not affecting the Austrian is the situation surrounding his contract that runs out in the summer. On that matter, the 35-year-old coach is not concerned. He has a positive outlook regarding a Junuzovic contract extension, because he knows how happy Werder’s captain feels on the Weser. Even though many factors could play a role in deciding Junuzovic’s future, on one point, Florian Kohfeldt is clear: “I really hope that Zladdi will remain a part of Werder Bremen for a long time”. And with this wish, Florian Kohfeldt is certainly not alone.