Have you managed to calm down after the defeat against Darmstadt yet?
Ermin Bicakcic: It was a restless night for me on Sunday. I only went to bed in the early hours of the morning. It’s difficult to get over a defeat like that one. We are all professionals and try to deal with these things in a professional manner, but that’s not easy. I’ve thought a lot about the game, gone over individual incidents in my head. In my head it’s a constant “What if…?” That question over and over again. But that won’t help: It’s important to accept the defeat. We can’t alter it. As difficult as I may find it, I have to push every thought about the defeat aside. We have a game coming up against Werder Bremen, that’s what I and all of my teammates need to be focusing on.
After the game, the team was talking to the fans for quite a while. Certain things were discussed. Do you understand the reaction?
Bicakcic: Completely. They’re unhappy and they have every right to express this. It was a good talk. In my opinion, the situation we’re in makes it very important for everyone at the club to pull together with the fans. It’s the only way forward. The fans had made this very clear before the game with their banner: We’re all in the same boat and want to turn things around together.
You’ve been in a relegation battle before with Eintracht Braunschweig. Is this experience helping you at the moment?
Bicakcic: Sure, I’ve been here before. Back then in Braunschweig I matured as a player and learnt a lot. I won’t lose my head. At the end of the day it’s always the same in football - what you do on the pitch is what counts. That’s how we will measure ourselves.
What is important now for the next few difficult weeks?
Bicakcic: We mustn’t get annoyed at ourselves or worry too much - even though, as I said before, that is quite difficult. Our situation is constantly playing on our minds, on and off the pitch. We have to bring all our positivity throughout the week in training onto the pitch on matchday and fight for every point.
Two wins in 20 games. Is there anything that gives you confidence in your ability to survive in the Bundesliga?
Bicakcic: We can do it. Everyone in the squad has shown that already. Right now nothing is going our way, but it’s down to us to change this. When you’re down there, nothing ever goes your way, that’s always the case. We will try absolutely everything in our power to turn our luck around. It’s completely irrelevant how we get the points. We just have to get them. As a team. No one can do this alone. Desire, fight, belief will all play a huge role. I am convinced that we will survive.
Next up: Bremen. Werder are only one place above TSG in the table. What does this mean for the game?
Bicakcic: It’s such a cliché, but every game is now a cup final. It’s not as though one game is more important than the other. It’s a critical situation we find ourselves in now; ideally we will be picking up points in every game. Sure, Bremen are relegation rivals, but that shouldn’t mean we go into the game with a different attitude from the Hertha game or the Ingolstadt game. It will be tough, because Bremen are capable of a lot in front of their own fans, we need to compete against this to be able to take anything from the game.
What do you expect of yourself and your teammates in Bremen?
Bicakcic: We will be tactically prepared for the opposition. It’s all about carrying that out onto the pitch. A lot of it comes down to having the right mentality. We need to be concentrated but at the same time composed. Euphoria after scoring a goal has as much place on the football pitch as giving up after conceding. It’s important for us to keep a cool head and get the job done.