Pervan: "TSG are a strong footballing side"

Pavao Pervan, 31, has been at VfL Wolfsburg since 2018. The Austrian shot-stopper is usually the No. 2 for the Wolves but is currently standing in for first-choice keeper Koen Casteels. In an interview with, Pervan spoke about life as a back-up goalie, TSG and Wolfsburg's start to the season.

Pavao, you've made an unbeaten start to the Bundesliga campaign and have eight points on the board. How do you assess your start to the season?


"Given the change to our system, I'd say the start to the season has certainly been a success. There have been matches that were extremely close encounters but ultimately ended up going in our favour. So all in all, we can be satisfied with our points tally. 


You're hosting TSG on Monday. What kind of match are you expecting and what will it come down to?


"I've only played against Hoffenheim on one previous occasion, but I know two of the TSG players – Florian Grillitsch and Stefan Posch – from the Austrian national team. Hoffenheim are a strong footballing side that always create chances going forward. So much like our previous matches, it is pivotal that we are defensively solid and take our chances up front." 


You're currently between the sticks due to an injury to first-choice keeper Koen Casteels. You stepped into the breach towards the end of last season and have performed convincingly. What is it like as a No. 2 always having to be ready but rarely ever playing?


"Every sportsman would prefer to be playing rather than sitting on the bench, but I knew from the outset how it was going to be. The fact I'm now getting some playing time is nice for me personally, although I obviously want to be a safe pair of hands for the team as well."  


What changes for you when you play? Do you prepare yourself differently?


"No, not really. The certainty that you're playing allows you to get into an even better frame of mind mentally, compared to when you're suddenly required to come off the bench during a game. But otherwise I haven't changed anything and have done exactly the same as I always have."


Your Europa League campaign began this week. What changes have there been for you now that you're playing midweek too?


"For us as players, there aren't actually all that many changes. There are just slightly fewer training sessions due to the increased volume of matches. As a player, you prefer to be out there on the pitch every three days anyway and so the Europa League is a reward for us."

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