Werder Bremen's Davy Klaassen has been named a vice-captain by coach Florian Kohfeldt going into his second season with the club. A season with one clear goal in mind for all at the Weser-Stadion.
bundesliga.com: Davy, how would you summarise your first season with Werder Bremen?
Davy Klaassen: "Yeah, I think I had a good year. After a hard year in England, it was nice to come here and I felt welcome from the first day. I still feel good so I’m really enjoying it here."
Watch: Klaassen's stunner vs. Vf Stuttgart was one of his season highlights!
bundesliga.com: Is there something that you remember especially?
Klaassen: "I had a lot of nice moments last year. A lot of nice wins. In the end, the overall feeling is really good. As I said, I feel at home and enjoy playing here."
bundesliga.com: You took part in the complete pre-season for the first time with Werder. How hard was it?
Klaassen: “Yeah, it was really hard, especially the first two weeks. It was three times a day. I think, when I came home at night, I was quite dead and I went directly to bed! I’m really happy that it's over now and we can start the real games as friendly games are nice but you play to play Bundesliga games.”
bundesliga.com: Max Kruse was a key part of the squad last season. How will your game change after his departure?
Klaassen: "Yeah, of course it’s hard when a player like Max leaves but I think a good thing is we didn’t have a lot of changes in the team – only Max left. For the rest of us, we've kept the team together. I think that's a big advantage because we know how to play, how we want to play and we know the strengths and weaknesses of each other. I think that's a really big advantage for us."
bundesliga.com: Who is going to fill the gap? Or, how will your game be changed?
Klaassen: "Yeah, it hasn't changed a lot compared to last season. We always want to attack and want to have the ball. We want to be dominant and that's what we want to do this year as well."
bundesliga.com: Recently Florian Kohfeldt said he likes your way of playing. You give stability to the team, at the same time you're able to score. Can you please describe your way of playing?
Klaassen: "I really like the number 8 position where I'm almost always playing. It's nice because I can attack, I can defend, I get the ball a lot. For me, it’s the best position and I'm really enjoying playing there."
bundesliga.com: Kohfeldt chose you to be the vice-captain after only one year. How meaningful is that for you? Why do you think the coach picked you?
Klaassen: "It's a big honour to be named deputy-captain. I've been a captain before so I know what it is. I like it and I think it suits me so I'll do everything to fulfil this job."
Watch: Bremen's tactics under Kohfeldt in 2018/19!
bundesliga.com: You start with a home game against Fortuna Düsseldorf. How important would a good start be?
Klaassen: "Yeah, it is and last season we started at home with a draw and this year we want to start with a win, of course. I think it's really important to start the season well to get a good feeling, to get a good flow in the team and in the stadium. I think it's a must-win game for us."
bundesliga.com: What goals do you have set with Werder for this upcoming season?
Klaassen: "We have one clear goal and that's to reach Europe. That was our goal last season and we were really close. This year, we want to make it."
bundesliga.com: What are your personal goals for this upcoming season?
Klaassen: "I want to play better than last season and on a constant level, maybe score some extra goals. That would be nice! For the rest, reaching Europe is also a personal goal of mine."
bundesliga.com: You have played in England and Holland. Comparing to those leagues, how attractive is the Bundesliga?
Klaassen: "I think the biggest difference is the atmosphere in the stadiums. In Holland, there are much smaller stadiums so it's normal that there's more noise and a bigger crowd. Also, compared to England, there's much more going on the whole game. I just like the atmosphere in the stadiums and the people who come to the games. I really like the atmosphere."
bundesliga.com: How comfortable do you feel in Bremen?
Klaassen: "Really comfortable. It's a nice city, not too big with nice people and it's not too far from Amsterdam so actually, I like it a lot!"
bundesliga.com: How strong do you think this team is, even with some injuries in defence already?
Klaassen: "I think we're strong. Like you say, injuries during the season can be a hard thing for any team but I think we have a strong team and we work every day to make it even stronger. I think for us it's a big advantage that we've played one year together for most of us already. I think that makes us even stronger."