Sebastian, have you got over the April Fools' prank from your teammates? (Rudy was sent on a 40-minute drive for an autograph session that never existed)
Sebastian Rudy: Of course. The lads planned it really well. I had a good laugh and couldn't really be mad at anyone. It will come back to bite them at some point though, that's for certain. I've already had a few thoughts, but I've not come up with the perfect plan yet.
Youâ€˜ve had to get over that wonder goal from Sebastian Kehl this week as well. Have you managed to do that?
Rudy: Not quite yet. It's a real shame that we weren't able to make the semi-finals. I can still feel the disappointment, especially because we had chances to beat Dortmund. The way we were knocked out obviously plays a role. You need a day more than usual to digest a game like that. But generally speaking, you have to be able to move on from the past quickly. We already have a game on Sunday against Köln. Our full focus will be on that by Friday.
What can you take away from the BVB game?
Rudy: Our performance was fantastic – confident, fearless and skilful. We scored two goals in Dortmund and could have got even more. That fills me with positivity, not just for the meeting with Köln, but also for the rest of the season.
How has it been in terms of recovery this week? A Sunday game after playing on Tuesday shouldn't pose too much of a problem…
Rudy: No, it doesn't. It's nice that we don't have to play again until Sunday. One day extra of rest will do us some good. We will all be at 100 percent.
You probably don't have found memories of the game against Köln earlier this season, right?
Rudy: Definitely not. We've got a score to settle after the home defeat.
What are your expectations for the match?
Rudy: Köln have shown their quality at points throughout the season. We'll also be coming up against an intimidating atmosphere. I think that there will be two empty fan blocks, but it will still be loud. The stadium is like a madhouse. Our goal is to keep a clean sheet and attack courageously. That way, we'll be able to take something back home with us.