Guido Burgstaller, you are coming off the back of a successful international break as Austria won twice over the break but it wasn’t enough to qualify for the upcoming World Cup.
We played two matches and won them both so we can be happy with that. However, it still hurts that we won’t go to the World Cup. We created the chances and played well in both games but we lacked that bit of luck and we have to take that on the chin and move on.
You came out on top in the Schalke-on-Schalke battle against Matija Nastasic and contributed to the victory with your first international goal. Did you say anything to Matija after the final whistle?
No, not really. The game had more importance for Serbia as they had to win to be sure they would qualify. We swapped shirts and I wished him luck. I’m glad they were eventually able to qualify.
You must have also been glad to score your first goal in an Austria shirt. How important is it for your confidence to get off the mark as you’d not quite been able to find the target for the Royal Blues before the break?
Of course, it’s always great to score and it increases your confidence. I think for Schalke it’s not really been the strikers who have been at fault. I think we’ve just lacked a bit of luck at times. We’re going to work hard to put that right so I’m not worried about not scoring.
After 100 days in charge, we’re taking stock of Domenico Tedesco’s time in charge so far. How do you value working with him so far?
I still think it’s too early to tell. We are all working together and the head coach has a game plan which we try and implement on the pitch. If we all pull together, I’m sure we’ll have a good season.
The next stop for Schalke is the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Do you see the game against the Europa League participators to be make or break?
We’re not thinking about that. We will try to play our normal game and to take the three points. The lads have been training very hard in the absence of those on international duty. We’re all raring to go.
In recent history, Schalke have not fared especially well in Berlin. What kind of a game are you expecting?
It’s going to be a very close game. Hertha are very strong at home. They can be compact and are capable of winning the second ball by getting stuck in. So we can’t give them an easy route into the game. Ideally, we’ll take an early lead which will force Hertha to come out of their shell a bit more and be more adventurous. We have to work hard to create chances to threaten in front of goal. Hertha have enough quality going forward to sit deep and attack on the break so we have to be ready for that.