Volland ahead of the Euros play-offs: “We know what's in store”

The German U21 side swept through the group stage of their qualifiers unbeaten. Now Sebastian Rudy, Stefan Thesker and Kevin Volland are set to take part in a two-legged play-off against Switzerland. had the chance to speak to Volland in his team hotel in Gladbach about the upcoming match against his neighbours.

Kevin, the decisive phase of qualification for the Euros is almost here. You play Switzerland in the first of two play-off matches on Friday. What are your thoughts ahead of the game?

Switzerland will be very tough to play against. They're tactically very disciplined and they will demand everything from us. We were knocked out by them in Nigeria in the quarter final of the 2009 U17 World Cup, and they missed out in the final against Spain in last year's competition. They've got some great players. We know what's in store.

You didn't show any weaknesses in the group phase, so you'll go into the play-offs as the favourite. Does that increase the pressure on the side?

I don't think so. The biggest pressure comes from ourselves because it's going to be tough to get over the final hurdle after such a convincing display in the group stage.

Boris Vukcevic is a part of the German U21 side as well. You will all wear the number 7 jersey during your warm-up, a number that's not going to be worn during the match…

We want to send a signal to Boris telling him that he'll soon be back on his feet. He's an integral part of this team, so much so that everyone in the squad, including the coaching staff, wants to send a message to him in hospital.

How are your national team-mates dealing with the situation?

It's a bit like how it is in Hoffenheim. We talk to each other a lot and it has brought us together. We'll give the game our full focus and do it for Boris.

There are two other players from Hoffenheim playing with their respective nations in the Euros play-offs. Are you crossing your fingers more for them because there's a chance that you will play against them in the competition in Israel next year?

That would be nice if it worked out, but they're coming up against some strong opponents in Spain and England. It will be difficult for them to qualify but of course I've got my fingers crossed.

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