Pirmin Schwegler: "SIX POINTS ISN’T ENOUGH"

We used the international break to catch up with Pirmin Schwegler. The captain spoke to us about the start to the season, conceding late goals, criticism and the future.

Pirmin, have you got over the end of the VfB game yet?

Pirmin Schwegler: Not fully, it’s still hanging over our heads. The late goal hurt and was difficult to take. It’s not the first time that we’ve done that this season. Obviously, the international break means we have longer to wait before we can put things right. When things like that happen it’s always best to return to action as soon as possible.

Can you explain why you’re conceding late goals?

Schwegler: It’s quite difficult to do that. Small margins are making the difference. We have a lot of new players and we’re not quite as stable over the course of a game as we need to be. We knew that it’d take time to gel but despite that, we should still have more points on the board. However, we can’t beat ourselves up about it – we need to work to find a solution.

Why are you struggling to get wins over the line? Shouldn’t going in front help in terms of confidence?

Schwegler: Well Bayern and Dortmund are both good teams, so a 1-0 lead against them doesn’t mean too much, however, we did a lot of good things in those games. We’ve struggled against some of the teams in and around us, partly because we’re not scoring enough goals. We’ve not been clinical that often this term. We were in Augsburg and won 3-1. When you go two goals in front you should see it out – we were 2-0 up against Stuttgart and had chances to go 3-1 up, which would have sealed the game. I guess it’s a psychological thing. We maybe have been thinking about not conceding too much and have defended too deeply. We’ll work on it ahead of the upcoming games.

There has been criticism in recent weeks from fans and the media. How do you deal with that?

Schwegler: Criticism is understandable in our situation. I’m my own biggest critic and have asked myself what I need to do in order to help the team become more stable.

What’s it like being captain? Do you speak to the players and the head coach more frequently now?

Schwegler: Yeah there are certainly more conversations and I’m always aiming to put my experience to good use in the changing room. It’s a bit tricky right now – we’re all unhappy so it’s important to find a way to deal with that and find the solutions.

How difficult is it to work on things during the international break? A lot of the players are away...

Schwegler: It’s pretty much impossible to do tactical work because a lot of the players are off with their national teams. The last few weeks have been tough mentally, so the break has been useful as it’s given us time to think and regroup ahead of the next games.

You’ve picked up five points from the last three games. Has that made things a bit more positive in the camp?

Schwegler: Obviously it’s a step in the right direction, but you need to look at the bigger picture. We have six points from eight games, which isn’t good enough. This means that the feelings of disappointment are larger than the positive ones currently.

You face Wolfsburg, who are without a win in three, straight after the break. Have you thought about the game?

Schwegler: I’ve given it a bit of thought, yes. Despite the fact they’ve not won recently, they remain a top side and it will be difficult against them. We want to pick up a positive result as that will be good for morale. Looking further ahead, we want to pick up our first win of the campaign against HSV – that’s an important milestone for the players and fans.


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