Domenico Tedesco, you are about to depart for you tour to China. What are you expecting from your one-week stay in the Far East?
The time in China will offer us the chance to come together as a team better since we will have a lot of time to spend together, whether that be on the flight, hotel, during meals, on the pitch and anywhere else. The two friendlies that we are going to play out there will help us go forward. Besiktas and Inter Milan will be high-calibre opponents. I am looking forward to both of these clashes. The same goes for the whole tour. It will be an exciting time for us.
You have had two friendlies recently. The 9-1 thrashing in Erkenschwick was followed by a 1-0 win in Paderborn. How do you assess your team’s performances in those matches?
You cannot compare the two games. We played against a Paderborn team that is already well into their pre-season and has their first league game in a week’s time. You could really see that in the tackles. For us, this was a useful and important test after two weeks of work.
Were you able to gain any particular insights from those 90 minutes?
We still have a lot of work to do but we have only just started with our preparations and still have about a month to go until our first competitive game. We should bear that in mind when looking back on these matches. We will work on many more things before then, physically, technically and tactically. But I can say on the current condition of the team that the players are working very hard and have given it everything. We’ve tried to implement the things that we have sought to do.
A lot of up and coming talents have been given game time. Are you satisfied with the young players?
All the young players were brilliant after they came on. It is definitely not easy to come into the game after an hour when the score is 1-0. It was a tight game and the stadium had almost 10,000 spectators. But the young players did not let that get to them and were solid. After the China Tour or perhaps not until after the training camp in Mittersill, we will do an analysis and look at what is best for each player. We have a big squad at the moment which is why it may make sense to send one or two out on loan so that they can get game time. But we are taking our time before we make those decisions.
Amine Harit made his debut at the Benteler-Arena. What have been your first impressions of the new signing?
He was very focused when he came on and looked really motivated. He is quieter when he is with the team which is definitely because he doesn’t speak any German yet. The way he plays is very good to watch and I think that we are going to really enjoy having Amine here.
Another new face is Bastian Oczipka. What are our new left-back’s most notable attributes?
He is a player that closes the space on his side of the pitch well. Bastian showed that in his time in Frankfurt but he also has qualities going forward. In short, he is somebody that works really hard down the left-hand side. I am delighted that we were able to bring him to the club.