Michael Gregoritsch (l.) looks to be the latest shrewd acquisition made by David Wagner (r.) at Schalke. - © imago images
Michael Gregoritsch (l.) looks to be the latest shrewd acquisition made by David Wagner (r.) at Schalke. - © imago images

"Schalke don't have to hide from Bayern Munich" - Michael Gregoritsch

Michael Gregoritsch has a debut to remember for Schalke, scoring one and assisting another as David Wagner's men beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0, and now thinks the Royal Blues have nothing to fear against Bayern Munich next Saturday.

bundesliga.com caught up with the winter loan signing from Augsburg after the full-time whistle at the Veltins Arena

Question: Michael Gregoritsch, congratulations on your Schalke debut. You had some good moments and scored a goal in your first game. You must be very happy?

Michael Gregoritsch: "I think it was a good debut overall. We won and I was able to participate. I have to give credit to Benito Raman for my goal. He was looking for me and I knew I had to make the run. Half of my goal is his."

Question: Was that the Michael Gregoritsch Schalke fans can look forward to in the second half of the season?

Gregoritsch: "I hope I can keep this level of performance up. Everyone knows how fast football can go. It was definitely a very good start. I also felt very comfortable at Schalke in the first few weeks. I hope it will go on like this and will give it my all. In any case, a game like this makes you want more."

Question: What was your impression of the Veltins Arena and the Schalke fans?

Gregoritsch: "Cool! It was amazing, I said that when I was warming up. The journey to the stadium before the game is something special. I have to absorb it now that I have this chance. I can only say it again: it really is something special."

Question: From the Augsburg bench straight to the Schalke starting XI and then being the match winner. Can you believe it?

Gregoritsch: "That's football! It doesn't work so well with one club and then it's better with another. I see this as a huge opportunity. I'm really happy with the start I've made and I really enjoyed this evening. We have to continue this way, though. The season's not over today."

Question: Were you surprised to play 90 minutes?

Gregoritsch: "I have to speak to the coach again because I actually wanted to come off a few minutes earlier (laughs). But in a game like this you're carried in a certain way. If you're in the lead, you can change the game a bit and pull it back. You work hard and when it ends up being rewarded with three points, it shows that it works."

Question: What can you bring to the team that Schalke may have been missing in the first half of the season?

Gregoritsch: "I didn't follow Schalke so much in the first half of the season that I could say what was missing. But I try to bring my game, which I hope will work against more teams than Gladbach, playing with a lot of passion and commitment. And I always try to get in front of goal."

Question: Your coach has also confirmed that you enjoy defending...

Gregoritsch: "I have to defend (laughs)! No, seriously: If there are nine players running behind you, it's nonsense if you don't also run up front. You have a responsibility to make it easier for your teammates."

Question: What can Schalke expect next weekend at Bayern?

Gregoritsch: "There is everything to play for. We don't need to hide. We know Bayern Munich are a brilliant team but it's also a nice feeling to be in the top third of the table and travel to Munich knowing that it's a top game. I've not experienced that before."

Dietmar Nolte reporting from Gelsenkirchen