Özcan: "We have been warned about TSG"

The Bundesliga is back! TSG Hoffenheim will start with an away game at 1. FC Cologne on Saturday (15:30 CET, live updates on Before the first Bundesliga matchday, spoke with Cologne midfielder Salih Özcan about the start of the season, Cologne's targets and the return of the fans.

Salih, the Bundesliga starts again at the weekend. How much are you looking forward to it?

"We're all really glad it's starting up again. We've been preparing for this for a long time and can't wait to play again."

Last weekend you won 6-0 against VSG Altglienicke in the first round of the DFB Cup. How satisfied are you with your first competitive game?

"We can be very pleased. We didn't want to get into any trouble and we wanted to show that we had come to win early. That's why it was so important that we scored an early goal. That meant we never panicked and made it through to the second round confidently."

You went out on loan to Holstein Kiel last season and are now back in Cologne. What are your targets this season?

"I want to show everyone what I can do. In Kiel, I managed to do that – and I want to build on that here in Cologne in the Bundesliga. I want to play as much as possible and help us to reach our big goal of staying in the Bundesliga again."

On Saturday you will play host to TSG Hoffenheim. What sort of game do you expect?

"Hoffenheim are a very strong team and also have a lot of very good individual players. We have seen in recent years that the team has a lot of quality. We know it will not be an easy task. We have been warned about TSG, but we have a plan and want to be successful at home."

It will probably be the first Bundesliga match with fans for both teams in more than half a year. How much does the support of the fans help you?

"Of course, that's excellent. We have missed the fans a lot. Especially in Cologne, the fans give the team massive support. We need the fans and are happy that a few thousand supporters will be allowed back into the stadium."

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