As well as taking stock of the first half of the season at the press conference that followed the 1-1 draw with Augsburg, Thomas Tuchel gave his thoughts on Marc Bartra and Sven Bender.
…the first half: "We made a very good start, then totally lost the plot. It's beyond me why. We made a real lot of simple mistakes. We misplaced passes, committed simple fouls and didn't move up well enough when we were in the opposition's half, which meant that our counter-pressing wasn't as effective. On top of that our individual tackling wasn't good enough. The fact that we then fell behind once again is absolute craziness."
…the second half: "We put in a good performance, started very well and did a lot of very good things. We had a lot of clear-cut chances but we weren't able to keep the tempo up. After the 85th minute things got better again but not consistent enough to win the game. The victory was up for grabs and would have been deserved. But, as has so often, and unfortunately too often, been the case this season, we did not perform as we had envisioned for the full 90 minutes. We are regularly being punished for that. The reactions are great every time. But we could do with taking the lead from time to time or winning a match 1-0. That would make things much easier. But that's not possible at the moment."
…the first half of the season: "Today's match epitomises the first half of the season. A lot of things are good and it's often absolutely clear what we want. We show the necessary bite, as well as as the structure and energy you need to consistently succeed in the Bundesliga. But in almost every league game those things have gone missing. Sometimes you get the feeling that we're in a slumber, sometimes it's down to tactical things. In any case, it has been a recurring theme this season and is part of our game. We won't give up working on this."
…Marc Bartra: "He is not used to the intensity of the training and the matches in the Bundesliga. It's an adjustment process that takes time. There are linguistic problems too; but this is a normal acclimatisation period. He is a very open person who is extremely reflective when not everything is going right. But we need to acknowledge that he is not used to playing every three days and carrying absolute responsibility for the game. Sometimes it looks a little bit tense or a little bit overambitious out there, but at the core there is always a good intention behind it. For that reason he will continue to get full support."
…Sven Bender: "Including 'Manni' in the starting lineup today would have been completely irresponsible. We had already pushed him to the limit by playing him for 55 minutes in Hoffenheim when we were down to ten men. 'Manni' has not yet played a single friendly match. What I want doesn't matter. It was clear that he could play one half, but not any more than that."