Goretzka and Schalke travel to Bremen with intent

At the end of the day, it’s the result that matters. Leon Goretzka doesn’t forget this, but at the same time, he is very critical of his own performances, no matter the result. The 22-year-old talked to about the positive and negative takeaways from the game against Stuttgart, and the prospect of the upcoming game with Werder Bremen.

Leon Goretzka, three goals in the opening stages of each half - the Royal Blues really showed themselves to be quick out of the block against VfB Stuttgart.

Yeah, we started really strongly and managed to control the game from the beginning. Unlike in the game against Hannover 96, we managed to play out of the back well and find open spaces, and weren’t restricted to only resorting to long balls.

As the game went on though, it was the clear that the team fared very differently in both halves. What do you put the poor performance in the first half down to?

The second part of the first half was unacceptable. When you lose a step after taking the lead and get complacent, it’ll be difficult against any team. We let them have way too much possession. You can do that for short periods, but at some point you have to knuckle down and get it back. We didn’t.

How did you manage to turn it around in the second half?

The manager made it clear in the dressing room how dissatisfied he was with our performance in the first half. However, it’s important to not just make tactical adjustments. You have to be ready to compete for every challenge, and just generally put in a lot of effort in the defensive part of the pitch. We prepared for the game well and so we should be able to consistently keep that up for the whole 90 minutes. But at the end of the day, we have to show that on the pitch. We did that in the second half.

Speaking of consistency, if you look at the results from this past year, it seems like the team clearly feels more comfortable at home than away.

The game in Bremen is very important for us. The last game against Stuttgart was very significant, as before that we put in one good and one not so good performance at the beginning of the season. That we were able to come away with another win in Stuttgart is very important for our mindset going forward.

Schalke fans don’t look back fondly on last year’s game in Bremen.

Not surprising. Especially in light of our previous game against them, we had every reason to put in a good performance. But that was probably our worst game of the whole season, and we came out of it with a deserved 3-0 loss. I can promise on behalf of the entire team that we are going into this game with intent, and will give everything to get all three points this time round.