Edin Terzic was "very satisfied" as he reflected upon the home game against Sportclub Freiburg at the press conference late on Friday evening. His team were initially effective and then euphoric as they picked up points 11, 12 and 13 of 2024.

"We're very satisfied with the approach, with the control and with the discipline," said Terzic, who spoke of the "best performance in the 2024 calendar year". In five rounds of matches they have scored 13 goals and conceded only one – and even that was an own goal (Nico Schlotterbeck in the 3-1 victory against Bochum). "We managed to keep a clean sheet again and were very solid defensively," summed up the head coach, who had told his team to "show their talent in attack and their mentality in defence".

Addressing the tactically demanding approach and the constant changes between 4-2-3-1 and 3-2-2-3, Terzic said: "The challenge was to get into position quickly, stay in position, open up the spaces together and then have the same idea at the same time." However, that did not go as planned before the break. "They might have had little control over us," said Terzic, "but we did not move the ball quickly enough. We managed that significantly better in the second period."

The much improved personnel situation is of course helping. Julian Ryerson was back on the pitch for the first time in two months, while Gregor Kobel, Marco Reus and Emre Can were also back in the starting line-up. "We can then draw on players from the bench," explained sporting director Sebastian Kehl: "But we need that too. Several challenges await us in the league and in the Champions League in the coming weeks. The competition for places will help us."
Boris Rupert