Hamburg – It was his first ever goal in his 70th Bundesliga game, and it was an important one too. Hamburger SV captain Johan Djourou raised the roof on the Volksparkstadion with his winner in the 3-2 victory over VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 2, earning his side their first win of the season.
Afterwards, the Swiss defender spoke about his goalscoring qualities and how important the win was for Bruno Labbadia's side.
Question: Johan Djourou, this was your first Bundesliga goal. Can you actually remember when you last scored?
Johan Djourou: Yes, I can. I know I've not scored many (smiles), but my last one came for Arsenal. It was 2010/11 and I scored a header. It put us 2-0 up and we even went 4-0 up, before being pegged back for a 4-4 draw.
'We've got great character'
Question: It was similarly dramatic today against Stuttgart. HSV came from behind twice to win. How important was this win in the Volksparkstadion?
Djourou: I could tell from the off that we were in pretty good shape today. We made it too easy for Stuttgart with the two goals that we conceded, but we kept coming back and, in the end, we pushed so hard that we deserved this win. We've got great character within the team and we're always there for each other.
Question: You set up your own goal by beating Martin Harnik to the ball and passing it to Ivo Ilicevic, who then found Pierre-Michel Lasogga in the area and he headed it back for you. Did you know the ball was going to go in?
Djourou: Yes, of course I did. I said before the game that I wanted to get involved more at the other end of the field and I just saw this room open up and stole the ball off Harnik. I then ran forward and Pierre-Michel teed it up perfectly for me. I knew as soon as the ball left my boot that it was going in. I learned this way of scoring with my ankle from Thierry Henry. It was perfect. I used to play as a centre-forward for my home-town club in Switzerland and I scored lots of goals, but then I ended up as a defender. I don’t want to say that I'm a quality striker, but I can keep my cool in front of goal.
Question: Did the red card to Florian Klein play into your hands?
Djourou: It definitely helped that we had an extra man, but the most important thing is that we created plenty of good chances in the closing stages.
Question: You led by example as the captain, defending well and then scoring the winner. Has being captain given you more self-confidence?
Djourou: Yes, I think it has, but that's how things have got to be too. I've got more responsibility now so I've got to lead the way.
Question: How important was this home win, also in view of the two away games to come in Cologne and Gladbach?
Djourou: Thank God we've got these three points. That was pretty important for us because we've had to read and stomach quite a lot of things being said and written about us lately, but the team's remained a solid unit and that's important. The fans were our 12th man today and we could feel that.
Interview recorded by Alexander Barklage in Hamburg