Hello Jannik. After the game against Nürnberg you were in the Sportschau best eleven of the week. Did you pick up on that?
Of course I noticed and I was pleased because it's recognition of my work. The most important thing though, is how my manager judges my performance.
You won 91% of your challenges against Nürnberg. That's impressively high. Were you happy with your performance?
Yea it's a great number but that figure alone doesn't signify whether I had a good game or not. I've also left the pitch feeling disappointed but had equally good figures. The same has happened the other way round too. There is also far more to a good game than just a high tackle success rate. Positioning and build up play amongst other things, are also part of it.
Above all, you look very comfortable under high balls...
One of my strengths is definitely my aerial ability. In set-piece situations my job is to clear the ball. I'm not assigned to a player so I have space to move. I think I have a really good sense of where the ball is going and my height certainly helps me do that. It's really enjoyable as well. It's probably far from spectacular for anyone watching on but I am pleased with every ball that I can clear from defence. That's my job on the pitch and I want to do it well.
Have your defensive duties changed since Markus Gisdol arrived?
The central defenders have been integrated into the build up play more. If possible, we've been instructed to play flat, sharp, forward passes. That is something new for us. We need to be brave but as a youth player, building the play up from the back was one of my strengths. It's great! I'm also working really hard on my tackling. My main aim is to win the ball and then quickly start a counter attack situation. We want to catch the opposition off guard. That's why me winning my challenges is important because the likelihood of us creating chances is higher.
Bremen next. What kind of game are you expecting?
Bremen are certainly going through a rough patch but it's never easy to play there, even given the current situation. They will be nervous though and I hope that with an aggressive performance and an early goal, we can take advantage and cause them problems.”
How important would it be, psychologically, to get back into the relegation playoff spot?
That would be great but whether we are in that spot come the end of the weekend is not important. The only thing that is important is that we are there come the final whistle on the final day of the season. The game in Bremen is definitely a step towards that and we want to win that game. Every win improves our chances.