Düsseldorf - Dani Schahin's two goals against Schalke 04 saved Fortuna Düsseldorf a point in Friday's Matchday 6 opener. The 23-year-old spoke about his second brace this season, the reasons promoted side Düsseldorf have come so strong in the Bundesliga and why it took him long to arrive in Germany's top flight.
Question: Dani Schahin, how does it feel to score two decisive goals?
Schahin: It feels great and I am extremely happy that we came back [after being 2-0 down]. We didn't play some random team, but one of the top three sides in the Bundesliga. Of course we can't be satisfied with our performance in the first half, but surely no one would have predicted we would come back. We stuck together as a team and believed in our quality. I was lucky [to score the 1-2] with my shin and then struck the second thanks to Tobi [Tobias Levels]'s fantastic cross. The whole team runs a lot and fights hard. And then we've got our giant Fabi [Fabian Giefer] in goal who saved us two or three times. Hats off to the whole team.
Question: The atmosphere in the stadium was overwhelming after you scored the 2-2.
Schahin: It was incredible and I wish this moment would have lasted, but we obviously had to play on. Coming onto the pitch was great already. We all enjoyed playing in front of a sell-out crowd against Schalke. The whole city stands behind us, the fans are incredible.
Question: Fortuna made a great effort as a team in the second half and seemed to literally overpower Schalke...
Schahin: Correct. We may not be able to outplay a team like Schalke, however, we can play good football and fight and run. We have very clear ideas about which task every player has to fulfil. Everything worked out against Schalke and of course we were also lucky that [Klaas Jan] Huntelaar didn't score another goal. I do believe we deserved the draw though.
Question: The game looked over at half time when Düsseldorf were 2-0 down. What did your coach Norbert Maier say to you during the break?
Schahin: The coach encouraged us to attack as it wouldn't matter if we conceded a third or fourth goal. Schalke could have actually scored several times and also Fabi saved brilliantly on a couple of occasions. Our fans were a great support, too.
Question: Essentially, what were the main reasons for Düsseldorf coming back?
Schahin: We very much profited from getting one back shortly after the break rather than late in the game. This gave us enough time to go for the equaliser. There was a great atmosphere after the 1-2 which might also have intimidated the Schalke players. In any case, it gave us extra motivation.
Question: You've already scored four times in the Bundesliga after hitting a brace against Augsburg on Matchday 1 - how come it took you so long to play in Germany's top flight?
Schahin: I really don't know. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't, I guess. I'm now playing in the Bundesliga and not looking back, I'm just happy being with Fortuna and that I can play and score and that the coach has faith in me.
Question: Is this the best period of you career so far?
Schahin: Yes, definitely.
Question: Did you expect things to go so well [when you joined Düsseldorf from Greuther Fürth in the summer]?
Schahin: I was hoping they would. I worked hard in pre-season and made sure I watched both my diet and weight. Also, I'm trying to learn from mistakes I did in the past and I realise it helps my performances. One mustn't stop improving, this goes for the whole team, even if things are going well at the moment.
Question: Any key moments which have led to you approaching things differently?
Schahin: I didn't play much at Fürth and wasn't very successful which I obviously wasn't very satisfied with. At some clubs things just work out for a player, at others they don't. I am happy to have the opportunity to play for Fortuna and to have a coach that believes in me and I try to pay him back.
Question: Are you now aiming to become this season's Bundesliga top scorer?
Schahin: (laughing) No, that isn't my ambition. I try to contribute as much to the team's performance as I can. I wouldn't mind scoring a few more, though.
Question: Do you believe the opponents are now taking Fortuna more seriously after the good start to the season?
Schahin: It is obvious that we have a clear strategy on the pitch and that we try to be solid at the back, despite conceding for the first time against Schalke. We have a strong team and try our best in every game.
Tobias Gonscherowski reporting from Düsseldorf