First Team

“We need courage”

Florian Kohfeldt is looking to get the Wolves back on track with “dynamism and intensity”.

After Mark van Bommel’s departure and one training session under caretaker Michael Frontzeck, VfL now have a new coach on the touchline in Florian Kohfeldt. He takes charge of the Green-and-Whites for the first time in Saturday’s match away to fourth-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen (kick-off 15:30 CEST). Ahead of the trip to the BayArena, Kohfeldt and sporting director Marcel Schäfer spoke about…

…getting to know the team: “The first conversations have been marked by openness. The players want to bring intensity and dynamism onto the pitch. That automatically carries a risk and therefore we need courage for the weekend. But we’re ready for that because we know how we can cover for each other.”

…the personnel situation: “We’ll be without [Jérôme] Roussillon, [Luca] Waldschmidt, [Admir] Mehmedi and also [Wout] Weghorst on Saturday. But particularly with Wout, there’s a good chance he’ll be back for Salzburg.”

…his ideas for how to turn things around: “I’ve come upon a team which is intact in itself and needs clear direction. Essentially, VfL have been defined by dynamism and intensity over recent years, particularly off the ball – that’s what we want to pick up on. At the same time, my idea is to offer dynamic and purposeful attacking solutions from this basis. After losing the ball we want to get it back quickly and control those phases. I think that the team’s philosophy and also my concept as coach are congruent.”

…opponents Leverkusen: “Obviously we watched Leverkusen’s cup match, but I don’t think it will have an effect on our match at the weekend. For one thing, the season is still young and physical aspects don’t play that much of a role yet. For another, I think the team is very strong and stable in terms of quality.”

…possible changes to the coaching staff: “I feel I’ve got a very good team. There’s a lot of expertise and I’ve known Michael Frontzeck for a long time. The rest of the team is top-quality, too. On the question of captaincy, nothing will change as I have full confidence in Koen [Casteels].”

Marcel Schäfer on Florian Kohfeldt: “Jörg [Schmadtke] and I sat down together after the game on Saturday and made the decision to make a change. After that, we drew up a list of candidates and quickly realised that we were convinced about working with Florian. After very intensive talks, we sensed great agreement from both sides and are confident that we can bring about a turnaround with Florian.”



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