Julian Nagelsmann: “We have to be self-critical”

Hoffenheim lost 2-1 to Schalke 04 on the Bundesliga’s 23rd matchday. Andrej Kramarić’s comeback goal in the 78th minute and an energetic second-half performance were not enough to bring back any points to Hoffenheim. TSG head coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke with the morning after the game.

Julian, you debriefed and analysed the game with the team this morning; what was missing in Schalke?

Julian Nagelsmann: Vitally, we were asleep for the first half an hour of the match. We didn’t play with the tempo needed to at the beginning. We were too slow getting into position and we gave Schalke too much space, which made it easy for them. We have to be self-critical and realise that this happens to use too often away from home.”

A key moment of the game was when Kevin Vogt lost the ball in his own box and Embolo scored while Oli Baumann was not yet back between the sticks.

Julian Nagelsmann: “Without a doubt, that was extremely unlucky for us. However, our strategy remains to play it from the back. It comes with its risks, but this tactic defines our style of play and makes us a strong team. Slip-ups like this one can happen, but we can’t allow that to dissuade us from building it from the back. Kevin himself knows best what went wrong. It was great to see how together the team are – there was no bickering, only encouragement. It’s also encouraging that we had good spells in the second half against a strong opponent with lots of individual quality, but we created too few chances. But one thing is clear – we didn’t have to lose the game on Saturday.”

There was also commotion on the sidelines during the match. You had an exchange of words with Robert Schröder, the linesman who subsequently had to come off with an ankle injury. You also expressed criticism at the referees after the game.

Julian Nagelsmann: “When the closing stages of the match are so emotional, you can’t just calm down like that. The atmosphere was indeed slightly heated during the game and you can’t just snap out of that immediately after the final whistle. That applies to both me and the linesman. The next morning, after some time and space, the kerfuffle was over and the topic was over for me. Linesmen will sometimes have different opinions to coaches on the sideline. Above all, I wish Robert Schröder all the best and hope he has a quick recovery, so he can return to the sidelines.”

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