Florian Kohfeldt will take charge of training on Monday for the first time as head coach. After the friendly against BSV Rehden, the important task starts for the 35-year-old – six Bundesliga matches and the DFB-Pokal last 16 tie before the winter break. Kohfeldt spoke to WERDER.DE about the club’s decision to put their trust in him at least until Christmas, how he and the coaching staff will go about their job differently because of the decision and the aims for the coming weeks.
WERDER.DE: Many congratulations, Florian! You are officially the Werder head coach. How do you feel about the decision?
Florian Kohfeldt: “Thank you very much! Of course I am really happy about the decision. In the last few weeks I’ve been able to gain a bit of experience in the role and now I am looking forward to the job at hand. I think it is clear for everyone to see how good this setup can be for the club. But it is also clear that we are not in a particularly easy situation. The coaching staff and I will put all our energy and work into picking up points, starting next weekend against Hannover. That’s all that counts right now.”
WERDER.DE: You have always talked since you’ve come in about how relaxed you are and that you wouldn’t feel any pressure. We’ll ask again though, have you felt a bit nervous?
Florian Kohfeldt: “No, I actually haven’t been. I was in constant discussions with Frank and I was kept informed throughout. Obviously I care about my personal situation but the first priority was to find the best solution for the club. I could’ve lived with any situation that would’ve been best for Werder.”
WERDER.DE: And when were you told about the decision?
Florian Kohfeldt: “We spoke about it properly for the first time on Friday evening and all the details were confirmed with my coaching team on Saturday. I think it is completely understandable that this decision will be met with some criticism. We can’t ignore reality at the club. I am the third U23 coach in a row that has been promoted. It is important in my eyes therefore that we step up to the plate now – the team, the coaching staff, the board and the club as a whole. We want to do what we have already done before. We need a huge effort on Sunday with the energy that probably only the Weserstadion can create.”
WERDER.DE: The task at hand is a tough one. How are you and your team going to go about it?
Florian Kohfeldt: “We will continue to work hard with the team over the next days and weeks, bring in methods to help the team improve, praise and if necessary, criticize. At the moment we are doing our analysis and developing a plan for the Hannover game. We want the team to play with the Werder Bremen style of play – attractive, attacking football. But this football has to be successful. We want to continue playing in the way that we did in the first half in Frankfurt.”
WERDER.DE: At the start, you had to focus heavily on the Frankfurt game but now you can plan until at least the winter break. How does that change the way you can go about the job?
Florian Kohfeldt: “We were able to, before the Frankfurt game, make decisions without having to think about the next day or two. Now it is different of course. We are thinking with a bit more perspective now but we aren’t dealing with the situation in the way that means the result of our decisions would have an effect in four, five or six weeks. The first priority is the next game, the clash against Hannover.”
WERDER.DE: How are you dealing with the fact that you have until just, for now, the winter break to instill your methods?
Florian Kohfeldt: “I am really happy and grateful that Frank Baumann has put his trust in me. I have been at Werder for a long time and I want what is best for the club. Now I have the opportunity to work in an even more prominent position than the one I had almost two years ago. It is irrelevant whether I work for six weeks or if I had signed a long-term contract. I want to emphasise this really clearly, at the end of the day, football is all about getting results. If you have lost three, four or five games in a row, then you don’t have a leg to stand on. But we won’t do that. We’re going to win on Sunday.”
WERDER.DE: We will cross our fingers for that on Sunday.