Andrej Kramaric: “We will give it our all to make it to the Champions League group stages”

Andrej Kramaric and TSG are just two games away from making club history. In the return leg of the Champions League playoff round, the TSG players will experience a special atmosphere – at Anfield. Kramaric talks to about what that atmosphere will be like, the mood around the club and the goals for the season.

The side will take part in a European competition for the first time on Tuesday. What are your goals for the 2017/18 season?

Andrej Kramaric: Of course we want to start off where we left last season and build on that. We are a team who like to have the ball and control the game. We like to be the team who determine the tempo of the game, to be proactive and play proper football. That is the way we play. We also want to prove that our success last year wasn’t just a flash in the pan but that we can repeat these successes and improve on them.

You scored 15 goals in 34 games last season. Were you satisfied with that return?

Kramaric: I am happy with how the season went for me and for the team. However if I’m being completely honest, I could’ve scored more. I am not completely satisfied. I am sure that I can improve on last year’s tally and that my teammates can create more chances. I can still improve.

You came to Hoffenheim from Leicester City.  What are the differences between English and German football?

Kramaric: English football is quicker, there is a lot more running up and down the pitch. The long ball is a tactic which is used much more in England. In Germany the game is not as physical and more tactical. German teams much prefer to keep possession of the ball and then create opportunities. In my opinion though, the Bundesliga and the Premier Leagues are the best leagues in the world.

You’ve already played at Anfield, it was your last game at Leicester in December 2015. What sort of atmosphere are you expecting at the stadium?

Kramaric: Everyone knows “Anfield”, everyone knows “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. It will be an amazing atmosphere. I like those sorts of games. The adrenaline is pumping and you are always up for those games. We won’t be intimidated by the atmosphere though.

Before the return leg comes the home game at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena. Hoffenheim’s first European game. How has the mood been around the whole club?

Kramaric: Last season was special and everyone is excited about the new experiences that this year will bring. The whole club is engulfed in euphoria, we all want to enjoy every second of it. Despite this, for us it’s not just about being part of a European competition for the first time, we want to achieve something, we want to progress. We all know that the game against Liverpool will be a huge test for us, but we’re not just going to roll over and accept defeat. We have at least 180 minutes against a great team who have a really good coach, but we’re going to put everything into trying to make it through to the group stages.

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