First Team

“We have to manage that ourselves”

A brief interview with VfL striker Lukas Nmecha.

Der VfL Wolfsburg-Spieler Lukas Nmecha läuft lachend auf dem Trainingsplatz.

The Wolves have been working up a sweat at their training camp in the Austrian town of Seefeld since last Friday, with head coach Niko Kovac making the most of the ideal conditions in the Tyrolean mountains to improve his players’ game and fitness. 

One of Kovac’s key attacking players this season is Lukas Nmecha, who until recently was still training on his own but is looking to push on again in the coming days and weeks. Here, the 23-year-old talks about his chances of a place in Germany’s World Cup squad, his impressions of the training camp and his personal objectives.

Hi Lukas! Germany coach Hansi Flick is attending Monday’s training session – are you nervous?

Lukas: “No! (laughs) It’ll just be nice to see him again.”

You were named in the Germany squad last time out but didn’t get that many minutes on the pitch. How do you rate your chances of making the squad for the World Cup this winter?

Lukas: “It all depends on how I perform in the coming season. I do think I’ve got a good chance. You’re allowed to take 26 players. I’ve only been with the national team a couple of times, so it’s by no means guaranteed that I’m always going to play. It’s the German national team and you need to work your way in.”

Let’s go back to goings-on at VfL. What’s your first impression of new VfL head coach Niko Kovac and the team in general?

Lukas: “My first impression is very positive, I have to say. The coach works in a very structured way and sets great store by discipline. We all need to know exactly what our jobs are and give everything in every game, regardless of the coach – we have to manage that ourselves. But I’ve been feeling good, both before and during the training camp.”

You recently had the screws removed from your foot after breaking your ankle. How are you getting on?

Lukas: “I’m feeling really, really good. I did feel it a little when the screws were still in, and it was obviously a psychological thing too. The screws are at home now and I’m doing really well. I haven’t lost a great deal of fitness because I haven’t been out for very long, so it’s all been very positive.”

What are your personal aims for the new season?

Lukas: “I want to become first choice. There’s an awful lot of competition at VfL and that’s important, but I want to assert myself. Then, of course, I want to score as many goals as possible. As we said, the World Cup is coming up and being there really would be very nice.”