Gazprom

11.08.2017

We need to treat this like a Bundesliga match

Coke beams. Anticipation of the cup match against BFC Dynamo (14.8., 18:30) is clearly visible on his face. Even a training challenge which rips his shirt does not dampen his mood. ‘Ah, that isn’t special. It’s the new women’s shirt. It’ll be on sale in the fan shop this afternoon – I was wearing it for promotion,’ jokes the right-footed defender.

His knee is no longer bothering him following his cruciate ligament injury. ‘The good news is that there is no news. I feel better every day,’ he says. This summer was the first time Coke completed a full pre-season with the Knappen. ‘I’m not worried about my knee anymore. I’m working on my own game and on trying to improve so I can help the team’. 

The player chemistry seems to be stronger than usual at the end of pre-season, and is building every day. ‘Normally there is a small dip before the start of the season’, the 30-year old explains.

 

‘But this time the whole squad is buzzing about the first match,’ reveals the Spaniard. ‘We want to finally get going. Every player is itching to go, and you can feel it in the intensity of the training sessions. We’re just looking forward to the get-go.’ Whether Coke will be playing in a four-at-the-back system or as part of a 3-4-3 is beside the point. ‘The main thing is that I can play again.’ 

The match in Berlin could be the 30-year old’s first game in the DFB-Pokal because his knee injury meant he was only able to rejoin the Königsblauen squad at the end of last season. He is wary of this weekend’s opponents. ‘That the team are from a regional division must not have an impact on our mentality. We need to remain focused. It will not be an easy game, particularly because it’s the first competitive fixture of the season. We need to fight as if we were playing against a Bundesliga side.’