A natural-born leader on the pitch

Ömer Toprak on a possible comeback
After sitting out the last four matches, Ömer Toprak could finally feature for Werder again (Photo: nordphoto).
first team
Thursday, 03.10.2019 / 14:59

Ömer Toprak could only watch from the stands during last Saturday’s draw in Dortmund. The centre-back has only been able to make two appearances for the Green-Whites to date, after picking up a muscle injury against Hoffenheim. Toprak would have liked to been able to feature against his former club, but “you need to procede accordingly in such a situation,” he said in the Mixed Zone on Thursday. Now, Toprak is fully fit once again and wants to “lead the way on the pitch, as is my nature.”

At the same time, however, the 30-year-old is full of praise for his fellow defenders Theodor Gebre Selassie and Christian Groß. “The lads did a really good job. They delivered a strong performance against Dortmund, especially in the second half.” Although he would have liked to play, it was still too soon for Toprak to make his return against Dortmund. As a result, he had to “nervously” watch the match from the stands. “It's not a good feeling when you're not able to help out on the pitch,” said Toprak.

Toprak: “Our aim is to take three points from Frankfurt”

Ömer Toprak in an interview in the Mixed Zone on Thursday (Photo: WERDER.DE).

It’s a different story when it comes to his place within the club. Despite not featuring as often as he might have hoped to, Toprak told the WERDER-PODCAST that he feels as if he’s already been at the club for much longer. “Normally, you need to have a lot of game time as a new player. You want to play and to win in order to show that you’ve arrived. Here, both the team and the coaches welcomed me straight away. I may have not been here long, but I can say that I feel at home here.” Toprak also feels at home playing at centre-back, regardless of which side he features on. According to Toprak, he is fit and is preparing himself “mentally for Sunday’s match.”

The team have also grown close due to the multiple injuries within the squad in recent weeks. “Our aim is to take three points from Frankfurt. We know that it won’t be easy, but that’s our goal.” Sunday's match in the Commerzbank Arena could also mark Toprak's return to the Werder starting XI. Following the team's final training session on Wednesday, head coach Florian Kohfeldt backed the centre-back, saying “If nothing else happens, then Ömer is definitely a candidate to start.” If that’s the case, then everything will be back to normal for the Werder defender, as he returns to help lead the team on the pitch.  

 

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