Picking up points when you're playing badly - supposedly the hallmark of a good team. That's what Borussia Mönchengladbach will be out to prove against Hamburger SV on Wednesday night, after scraping a 1-1 draw against Rhine neighbours Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 4.
Yet while most of his team-mates were keen to sweep the game under the carpet, Swiss newcomer Granit Xhaka, who turns 20 on Thursday, had plenty to say on the matter.
bundesliga.com: Mr Xhaka, Borussia Mönchengladbach picked up a 1-1 draw in Leverkusen. Is that a good result when you look back on the game?
Granit Xhaka: Absolutely. You've got to be honest and say we played really badly. Although, considering how bad we were, we can be pleased to get a point.
bundesliga.com: Can you explain why you played so poorly?
Xhaka: We didn't play any football. We couldn't string two or three passes together. We played nearly every second ball long. Long balls are not our strength. We know that, yet we still did it. We also didn't move the ball enough when in possession. The player on the ball had only one option - the goalkeeper - which led to the long ball. We must express ourselves and move the ball more. Then we'll be able to play football.
bundesliga.com: Was that frustrating for you?
Xhaka: Yes, absolutely. We know that we can actually play football, but we didn't on the day. We must look back at the game again to see just what we did wrong. On Wednesday against Hamburger SV, we must show what we're really capable of.
bundesliga.com: Borussia's director of sport Max Eberl described the recent games as "paradoxical". Against 1. FC Nuremberg you lost despite playing well; this time you picked up a point after a poor performance.
Xhaka: You could say that. We were asleep for the first 20 minutes against Nuremberg but, after that, played some really good stuff. There you saw that we're able to play football. Today we didn't, yet we still picked up a point.
bundesliga.com: The team has goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank for sparing you a hiding...
Xhaka: Absolutely. That's why we have a goalkeeper. Marc's an important figure as well as a goalkeeper. If it's not going well, he's there, trying to help the team. If we didn't have him, we could have lost at least 5-1.
bundesliga.com: You've been in the Bundesliga for three months now. How do you like it and how different is it?
Xhaka: I like it very much. Gladbach's a team with a tradition, which I already knew beforehand. It's all going as I thought. I'm really happy.
bundesliga.com: You're a first-team player and you're scoring goals. Have you fulfilled your expectations?
Xhaka: You could say that. I'm not one to score three goals a game. I need time to get better and better.
bundesliga.com: Your colleagues are okay with the performance in Leverkusen. You're not. Are you always so straight and to the point?
Xhaka: I'm ambitious and want to win. I want to play football. That's something we simply didn't do. From my own point of view, I'm not happy with the game. I'm self-critical and therefore say: today we were really bad.
bundesliga.com: Where do Borussia stand after collecting five points from four games?
Xhaka: We've played our first four games, but we can't say where we stand and what's coming. We take each game as it comes. On Wednesday we've got an important home game against Hamburger SV. We want to give something back to the fans for all the mistakes we made today.
bundesliga.com: HSV just beat Borussia Dortmund and travel to Mönchengladbach full of confidence.
Xhaka: It's down to us. If we play like we did against Nuremberg and play football, we can beat Hamburg. I'm convinced of that, but we have to play for 90 minutes and not just three like against Leverkusen.
Interview by Tobias Gonscherowski