Professionals | 23/02/2020

Rexhbecaj: “We are playing for the city”

After the 5:0 away win against Hertha BSC, NetCologne FC-TV spoke with Elvis Rexhbecaj, Florian Kainz and Markus Gisdol.

Elvis Rexhbecaj: Obviously it’s a strange feeling, when you come into the team just before kick-off. But I was ready. You always have to be focused, there’s always something that can happen. We kept a clean sheet and scored five goals – that’s not a bad way to celebrate Karneval. The coach said to us, that we are playing for the city and for the people who are celebrating Karneval. They’re out celebrating and we wanted to give them a present. Now they can really go at it. The injury to Rafa was a shock. We played for him.

Florian Kainz: We played very well in the first half and used the counter well, but also worked against the ball as a team. We defended together. We’re all pleased that we won the game as we did. It can always happen, that the opponent find a way back into the game. But I didn’t have that feeling today. We were all over the pitch from the first minute to the last. In the second half, we were very clever. It was a superb performance. Everyone knows what situation we’re in. We have taken a lot of points since the new coach arrived. But we are still battling against relegation, and that’s how we have to keep going. We shouldn’t place this win too high.

Markus Gisdol: We had a few things before the game in terms of players being injured and who to put into the team. All of the boys, who were on the pitch, worked brilliantly from the first whistle. How we wanted to play, in terms of managing the opponent, where we wanted to play and how we wanted to counter, that worked almost to perfection. We’re unbelievably happy. We have a very high level in training at the minute. For one or the other, it’s hard when they don’t play. I’ve got to moderate that, so that everyone stays together and waits on their chance. Sometimes that happens quicker than you think – just like with the injury to Rafa. Then it is important, that the other players are ready. Our squad functions well at the moment. That is perhaps the key to our success. We are incredibly close as a team. When working in a city, whether as a player or as a coach, it is imperative that you identify with the city and the club 100%. I said to the players to play for the city and for the people who have this club in their hearts.

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Total table
10Hertha BSC35
111. FC Köln34
12FC Augsburg31