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Florian Neuhaus is confident Borussia Mönchengladbach can get a result against Bayern Munich in the opening fixture of the new Bundesliga season. - © DFL
Florian Neuhaus is confident Borussia Mönchengladbach can get a result against Bayern Munich in the opening fixture of the new Bundesliga season. - © DFL

"We can beat Bayern Munich" - Borussia Mönchengladbach's Florian Neuhaus


Borussia Mönchengladbach's Florian Neuhaus is ready to take the fight to defending champions Bayern Munich on Matchday 1 of the 2021/22 Bundesliga campaign.

bundesliga.com caught up with the Germany international to discuss Friday's opener at the Borussia-Park, Gladbach's objectives under new head coach Adi Hütter and much more besides...

bundesliga.com: How much are you looking forward to the first matchday against Bayern?

Florian Neuhaus: "We'll see, I think everyone needs to find their way at the start of the season, but I think Bayern will be at their best very quickly. There's nothing to say we won't, either. You need a perfect day to beat Bayern, and I definitely trust us to get it done. In the last few years you have often seen that we can beat Bayern. We want to do the same on Matchday 1.

bundesliga.com: Was your goal in the previous home game against Bayern the best goal of your career?

Neuhaus: "Well, it was definitely the most important because it was the goal that gave us a 3-2 lead after being 0-2 behind. It was an important and useful experience for me, and I hope that it will be the same on the first matchday in front of our fans."

Watch: Florian Neuhaus helped Gladbach stun Bayern last season

bundesliga.com: How much are you looking forward to the supporters being there?

Neuhaus: "A lot! It's going to be a completely new sport with them back. They are so important and such an important part of the game.

bundesliga.com: You beat Bayern and Dortmund last season, and then progressed in the UEFA Champions League. How did that feel?

Neuhaus: "Those were certainly some successful weeks, unfortunately we weren't able to improve on those performances and dropped points too easily. This was evident at the end of the season as we were missing the points to challenge for the European places. In particular it is important for us to win the home games, especially against teams that are lower down the league table. We have to do our homework when we face those sides and the matches against the top five or six sides are bonus matches. Of course it's nice to beat the top sides, but it's vital that we do our homework and win the games in which we're the favourites."

bundesliga.com: You have often experienced that, on a good day, you can beat the top teams. How important is it to know you can do that?

Neuhaus: "That certainly gives us confidence, I think this is evident from our squad as we have a lot of individual quality and many individuals who were part of the Euros. However, we still have to be more consistent, not win against Bayern and then lose at home to Cologne. We have to make sure that we can be more consistent and win those games because they give just as many points as the matches against the top sides."

bundesliga.com: Do you think that Adi Hütter can ensure that you win those games that you, in theory, have to be winning?

Neuhaus: "I think so. I'm sure he has analysed our performances last season and he will have thought of things that need to improve. I think this is something we definitely have to work on and we recognise that as a team as well."

Neuhaus (r.) and Gladbach have a new head coach in Adi Hütter (l.). - imago

bundesliga.com: How much did Gladbach's below-par Rückrunde affect you?

Neuhaus: "It did a little. I think we all had higher expectations for the second half of the season, but we simply had too many fires to put out during that period, too many things did not work out. We analysed this and can certainly do better, now we will only look onwards. I moved on quite quickly because of the start of the Euros, and now it is similar again. I'm looking forward to it."

bundesliga.com: Why do you think you dropped so many points?

Neuhaus: "We discussed this as a team, we were too passive and could not keep hold of the ball. We didn't have enough phases where we controlled possession and that made it too easy for the opponent. That is a point we have addressed and will need to improve on this season."

bundesliga.com: Does your side need to play more dirty?

Neuhaus: "I think it's important to strike a balance. You may need some players like that, but you also need players who will hold the ball. I think this comes first because if you don't have possession of the ball, then it will be difficult. If you are just kicking the ball forward then you will be defending wave after wave. You need the type of guys who can resist that, but you also need players who will keep the ball and provide relief for the defence. I think the mix of those two is key, and I'm sure we can find the balance at Borussia."

bundesliga.com: What role do you see yourself playing this season?

Neuhaus: "I won't push for a specific role as it comes naturally. In a football team, it's all about your performances on the pitch, that is how you find your role within the team. Everything else will come. I'm not the type of guy who tries to push for a specific role, I do give commands on the field, but only as a means of communication. Of course you want to take on a bigger role and more responsibilities when you are on the pitch."

bundesliga.com: How was your time at the European Championships with the national team?

Neuhaus: "I was happy to be part of it, it was a great experience for me. Even being at the training camp I was able take a lot from the experience. I think we had all higher expectations for the tournament, to be knocked out against England was not as we had hoped and we were definitely disappointed. However, in football life moves on quickly. I'm back at Gladbach now."

bundesliga.com: To what extent was the tournament an important experience for you?

Neuhaus: "I tried to take in as much of it as possible, it was my first international tournament. It is something special, to be able to play for your national team in such an important tournament. Of course I would have liked to have played once or twice, but unfortunately that did not happen. This will spur me on in the future as I want to be on the pitch for my country."

bundesliga.com: The national team is experiencing the start of a new era. Where do you see yourself fit into this?

Neuhaus: "I'm looking forward to the new era, it's exciting to see how the new head coach will select his players. I'm looking forward to it and want to make myself noticeable through strong performances right away. We'll see how it turns out in September."

bundesliga.com: Did you also support your Borussia teammates at the Euros?

Neuhaus: "Yes, of course. Particularly the penalties where Marcus Thuram went up for the penalty against Yann Sommer, that was of course particularly exciting. I was really happy for the Swiss team, especially because Yann saved the last penalty."

bundesliga.com: Sommer's decisive save from Kylian Mbappe was an incredible moment, right?

Neuhaus: "Yes, I think Yann must be better for the national team (smiles). I can remember a time when he saved two penalties against Sergio Ramos for Switzerland, now against Mbappe. I would like it if he could also save one for Gladbach once in a while."

Neuhaus (r.) has scored twice in six senior internationals in Germany colours. - Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

bundesliga.com: How much are you looking forward to the new season and the new head coach Adi Hütter?

Neuhaus: "A lot. I was watching the pre-season matches whilst on holiday, including the game against Bayern. That looked good although I do expect the team to change a little. It's easy to see what the coach wants, he is very clear with what he wants and this helps all of us at the club."

bundesliga.com: It has been relatively quiet in the transfer market. Is it an advantage when the same players are playing together over a longer time?

Neuhaus: "Yes, that's definitely an advantage. Exactly what will happen in the transfer market remains to be seen, but at Borussia we are prepared for all scenarios so I'm not worried at all. On the first matchday we will have a very strong team on the pitch."

bundesliga.com: What do you think is possible under Adi Hütter?

Neuhaus: "As I mentioned, he has been successful in all his previous stations and I think it will be the same here at Borussia. We're working very intensively here and he has a good understanding of football which we need. It's a bit more complicated with players arriving later due to their national team appearances, but he's making a good impression. It looks good so far."

Neuhaus (c.) believes record champions Bayern are still the team to beat in 2021/22. - Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

bundesliga.com: Bayern could are on the hunt for a 10th consecutive league title. Could you ever have imagined that?

Neuhaus: "It's really incredible, it has to be said that they are doing an incredible job. They make so few mistakes and so it is difficult to get past them. I'm excited to see what will happen as they have a new head coach, who has been very successful at his previous posts. I can't see them suffering a dip, but anything is possible in football. We'll see what the new season brings. I'm really looking forward, just like a little kid."

bundesliga.com: Would you like to see an underdog win the league this year?

Neuhaus: "As a football romantic, you do wish for that to some extent. I do hope for it but, as I said, I find it hard to imagine. Of course it's possible that an underdog gets into some form, plays well over many games and gets more confident, but I think the top teams are simply too consistent and have too much depth. They have too many good individual players, they pretty much have two good players in each position which makes it difficult for underdogs to take them on."

bundesliga.com: What do you think that Gladbach have done right in the last 10 years?

Neuhaus: "They have been smart financially. With that I mean that they get hold of exciting young talents for low fees and have developed them here. To some extent, the players grew alongside the club and then at some point the club was able to sell the players for a good fee. I think that has been the secret recipe, Borussia has never really been making expensive transfers, but instead looked for new up and coming players who they could help develop and later on sell. I think this is a great strategy, which works, and has rewarded the club."

bundesliga.com: What kind of reputation do Gladbach have?

Neuhaus: "Increasingly, Gladbach are becoming inextricably linked to Max Eberl. The success over the last years can largely be attributed to Max. When I speak to others about Borussia, I usually find the conversation moving to Max Eberl for the reasons I mentioned. He has a great team and that has contributed to their success."