Win under pressure? Check!

Post-match reaction after the game against Effzeh

Unbounded joy: Miloš Veljković scored his first Bundesliga goal and celebrated with Delaney, Gebre Selassie and Co. (Photo: nordphoto).
first team
Tuesday, 13.03.2018 // 00:43 Uhr

There are no two ways about how important the home game against Köln was. The Green-Whites celebrated an “extremely important” 3-1 victory on Monday evening to draw the Bundesliga’s 26th matchday to a close, as Florian Kohfeldt said. Veljković, Rashica and Co. extended their cushion over the relegation zone to five points; however, Kohfeldt warned that “a lot of work lies ahead” after the “win under pressure”.

WERDER.DE brings you the post-match reaction from the evening’s game.

On the game:

Zlatko Junuzović set up the first goal with his corner kick (Photo: nph).

Florian Kainz: “It was a relegation battle. It wasn’t oozing quality, but it was a hard-fought game, which we deservedly won. We didn’t let them past us in the first half, we created more chances and deservedly took the lead. After they equalised, we went looking for more. However, we struggled for a long time against Köln as they tightened up. We didn’t manage to get into the final third very often, that only improved in the second half. It wasn’t our best game.”

Maximilian Eggestein: “Köln kept it very tight at the back and we couldn’t find space. We found more room in the first half, but their equaliser didn’t play into our hands. The space vanished again after that. Köln definitely have a lot more quality than their position in the table would suggest. They made our lives extremely difficult.”

Max Kruse: “It was vital that we answered directly after their equaliser. The goal came at exactly the right time for us.”

Miloš Veljković: “Köln made our lives very difficult. Things didn’t always go according to plan in the first half. We wanted to disturb their rhythm early on and defend aggressively. Things went slightly better for us after the first goal. I’m relieved and happy for the whole team. The game was very important and it was great players who don’t normally score managed to find the back of the net, but all goals are important for the team."

Florian Kohfeldt: “I thought we played very maturely in the first half. We were patient, we waited for our moments, which is why I was satisfied with our first-half performance overall. Throughout the game, there were two or three moments which could have completely turned it around. Milot could have ended the game before the break. Köln made big problems for us after the change of ends. Effzeh are a very well-organised team, so my team deserve kudos.”

Frank Baumann: “It was a really tough match today, but we won deservedly in the end. Köln were difficult opponents, so I’m really pleased that we picked up another win at home.”

On the table:

Milot Rashica finishes past Köln keeper Horn perfectly (Photo: nph).

Florian Kainz: “The result certainly hasn’t saved us. It was an important step because our rivals in the table didn’t get any points, but there are a lot of games ahead of us.”

Maximilian Eggestein: “We have a healthy confidence right now, but that won’t give us a false sense of security. We’re still not too far away from the relegation zone and we all know it.”

Miloš Veljković: “It was an important game to win, but we have to stay focused and we can’t consider ourselves safe. We still need to carry on winning matches and we have to look forwards. We can’t take any backwards steps; we have to prepare for the next match.”

Max Kruse: “We now have a nice cushion over Hamburg and Köln. However, we have to maintain our focus. Our performance wasn’t the best today, but we got the three points in the end.”

Florian Kohfeldt: “We can’t be thinking that we’ve already achieved something. We’re delighted about the win, but we have a lot of work ahead of us. It won’t help us to just look at our progress and be satisfied with it. There are still eight games to go and we have a five-point cushion over the relegation zone at the moment. We have to maintain our focus and we need at least another ten points.”

Frank Baumann: “We want to get out of the relegation battle as soon as possible. Despite the win, we’re far from safety. We still need to be picking up points until the end of the season.”

On the atmosphere:

The relief was great for the Green-Whites after the final goal (Photo: nph).

Maximilian Eggestein: “On the whole, the atmosphere was fantastic – much better than I was expecting, but the whistle blows were irritating, especially the odd blows in quiet phases of the game.”

Max Kruse: “I didn’t find the atmosphere extraordinary. The support from the fans was exceptional as always.”

Miloš Veljković: “I didn’t notice the whistle blows during the game. During the break and when we came out of the changing rooms, it became a factor which affected the preparations for the second half.”

Florian Kohfeldt: “In my opinion, the atmosphere in the stadium was great apart from a few mistakes from the ultras. The whistle blows were not a good idea; they disrupted the game and were very annoying. I’m happy that no one stopped playing and thought they were offside during a vital part of the game.”

Frank Baumann: “The lads on the pitch put up with it. The whistles were unpleasant. Apart from that, the atmosphere was really good. Anyway, we’re really looking forward to the next home game when everyone will be back in the Weser-Stadion.”

On the last-minute change before kick-off:

Milot Rashica: “I feel sorry for Bargi, who couldn’t play today. It was a big surprise to me. I warmed up with the other guys on the bench and wasn’t as warm and ready as the rest of the starting XI. I needed a few minutes at the start of the game to get myself into the game. After that, everything went to plan.”

Florian Kohfeldt: “Philipp felt nauseous shortly after the warm up, but still declared himself available to play. That says a lot about his character and mental strength. There was no big panic; we knew our options. Of course, the change made a small difference to the way and manner in which we played. Even before the game, it was a tight decision as to whether Milot would play from kick-off or not.”

Frank Baumann: “The game today showed that we can deal with a last-minute change very well and that we have a lot of options on the bench.”

On the upcoming fixtures:

Florian Kainz: “In Augsburg, Frankfurt and Hannover, we have three very difficult opponents coming up, but we’ll head into all three games with confidence.”

Maximilian Eggestein: “Augsburg aren’t where they are in the table by coincidence. They have a lot of dangerous players, especially Michael Gregoritsch. It will be important to stay strong at the back and to see our plan through.”

Florian Kohfeldt: “Augsburg are very strong physically and there are several different formations they could line up in. It will be really important to win the second balls.”