Leon Goretzka: Be creative and take our chances

It has been a disappointing week for FC Schalke 04. After losing their Europa League quarter final first leg 2-0 away in Amsterdam last Thursday, they were beaten 2-1 at the death by SV Darmstadt 98 on Sunday. S04 have the chance to overturn their first leg deficit at the VELTINS-Arena on Thursday, and ahead of the game, spoke to Leon Goretzka to get his thoughts.

Leon Goretzka on...

the defeat in Darmstadt:

We had a massive chance to climb up the table and we did not take it. That is very disappointing for us. In simple terms, we just did not use the situations we created to our advantage and score goals. It was a must-win game for us, even with ten men. Overall, everything that could have gone wrong against Darmstadt did so. That is of course even more irritating given our current situation.

... the reason for the poor performance:

This is a question we have often had to face this season. If we knew that, then we would make sure these things could not happen again. However, in many games we have showed what we are capable of doing as a team. If we play to our best level, we are strong. We have proved that this season, but unfortunately not as much as we should have.

... the first leg in Amsterdam:

We had problems in our duels, but I am convinced that this time out we are in a position to ensure that they swing our way. We have to work to disrupt Ajax's build-up play in the early phases and use the home atmosphere to our advantage. With that, we will have things on our side that we did not in the first leg. We need to have hope and really throw ourselves into the game. We know that we have to improve our finishing and chance creation. We are all very self-critical and it will be clear to see that every individual is determined to get out of this rut. First and foremost, we have to be completely committed on the pitch and show a completely different face to the one we did in the first match. We owe that much to the fans. 

... the chance to progress to the semi finals:

The omens are of course not on our side. Ahead of the first leg, we said that we wanted to put ourselves in a good position to qualify. We did not manage that at all. Now we have to aim to improve our situation and try to do something spectacular. Ajax have a young team, and when our fans really get going, the atmosphere can add a real extra spark and could have a big impact on the proceedings. We hope to have that on our side and show from the first moments of the game that we have not given up. We will all do our very best to turn it back around.