Castro: "Neither team will give the other an inch"
With seven rounds of matches played, VfB Stuttgart have 10 points on the board and have lost only once. How satisfied are you with your start as a promoted side?
"We won't be lulled into a false sense of security by our current points tally. We're satisfied with the way we've developed as a team so far. But there have been things that we can improve in every match. We know that we need to keep working hard and on a consistent basis."
You've drawn each of your last three games. What's been missing for you in those matches and which aspects do you still need to improve to pick up more wins in the Bundesliga?
"If we'd scored a goal to put ourselves 3-0 ahead against Eintracht Frankfurt in our last home game, we would in all likelihood have taken the three points. The teams in the Bundesliga play at a high level. You have to take every chance that comes your way, and in one or two of our games we have squandered a few too many opportunities."
What are your objectives for the remainder of the season?
"Our objective is to stay in the division."
You're facing TSG Hoffenheim in the derby on Saturday. What kind of game are you expecting?
"The matches between TSG and VfB have always been very hard-fought in the past. And I'm expecting to see neither team give the other an inch again on Saturday."
Your coach, Pellegrino Matarazzo, worked as the assistant coach at TSG between 2017 and 2019. Do you think his Hoffenheim past could be an advantage for you in this game, and what generally sets his work apart?
"It's difficult to say whether it's an advantage. The TSG squad has changed since then; there is a new head coach in charge. An example of what sets Pellegrino Matarazzo apart is that he has built up a very good communication with his players; in addition, he can motivate you on the spot and is incredibly meticulous with his work."
Andrej Kramarić, TSG's top goalscorer, is expected to be back in the Hoffenheim squad following an absence of almost six weeks. How does that impact you if he returns to the TSG team?
"That doesn't have a particular impact on us or our preparations. But there is no doubt that Andrej is a striker with special goalscoring qualities and that we'll need to keep an eye on him if he does play."