Togetherness will be the key for VfL as they look to overcome 1. FC Köln on Saturday.
The Volkswagen Arena will provide the stage as the Wolves' bid to pick up three points Saturday's final Bundesliga encounter of the season against 1. FC Köln (kick-off 15:30 CEST). The stakes could hardly be higher for VfL, who are battling to secure 16th place and a relegation play-off spot, with both automatic relegation and even safety still possible depending on results elsewhere. Ahead of the decisive meeting with the Billy Goats, head coach Bruno Labbadia gave his thoughts on…
…the squad: "Marcel Tisserand and Victor Osimhen have both had operations so aren't available. Riechedly Bazoer has had knee problems for a while now so he's not an option either, even though he wants to play. He'll have surgery on his meniscus on Monday. Daniel Didavi returned to training for the first time today but unfortunately still has some discomfort in his Achilles tendon. We'll have to wait and see if he has a reaction to today's training session. The same goes for Ignacio Camacho, who likewise had his first full session back with the team today. Otherwise, everyone who's been available over the last few weeks can play."
…his approach to the game: "We have to stop thinking about what happened in the past because we can't change that now. We need to focus on our own performance because it's up to us. We need to put in a good team performance. Everyone out on the pitch knows what they have to do."
…the opposition: "They won't be doing us any favours. They were 2-0 down against Schalke and fought back to draw. They should've won a lot of games recently and played really well against Bayern Munich. Köln are a team that never give up, and that's how they'll play here too. Ultimately, though, none of that matters. The only thing that counts is what we do ourselves."
…his objectives as coach: "As head coach, the buck stops with you. I'd prefer the focus to be on me rather than the team. The important thing for me is not to get caught up in all the hype about the game. My objective is to keep the team in the Bundesliga. All that matters now is to get behind the side for 90 minutes on Saturday, and for the team it's important that they do what they've got to do. If we all pull together that'll be a big advantage for the players."