Gelsenkirchen – Saturday's 2-1 win against Fortuna Düsseldorf earned Schalke 04 their first Bundesliga maximum haul since Matchday 18, and another step in the right direction following a decidedly sticky spell.
Jermaine Jones was at the heart of the action for the Royal Blues, setting up Joel Matip's opening goal and generally impressing once again on the back of his goal in the midweek UEFA Champions League draw at Galatasaray. After the match, the USA international spoke about Schalke's return to winning ways.
Question:Jermaine Jones, congratulations on the win against Düsseldorf. How would you rate this game?
Jermaine Jones: Overall, it was a good performance from us and an important step in the right direction. We played well in Istanbul and today we battled our way back once again. In the second half we were maybe starting to feel the pace, but we fought back after the equaliser and got our reward in the end. But we really should have wrapped things up sooner.
Question: The game was following a similar pattern to the one you lost against Greuther Fürth. Did that cross your mind?
Jones: No, not at all. I’m just annoyed that, after a really good first half, we weren't able to keep the game under control. We’ve still got to learn that, to be clever right through to the finish.
Question: Düsseldorf had one chance and they scored from it - what does that say about the game?
Jones: I think we’re defending well. We're just not making the most of our chances. Last season it worked well, but it’s not quite the same this time around. It's soul-destroying to keep running up and down the pitch without scoring and only makes the job harder. We just need to land the knockout blow sooner.
Question: Was this a step in the right direction today?
Jones: We've fought back from behind in Mainz and Istanbul and today we finally managed to go in front ourselves, and ended up winning. The main thing is the three points. They’re really important psychologically and that’s why we're now getting a couple of days to switch off a little before turning our focus to Wolfsburg, our next difficult challenge.
Question: How happy are you for Joel Matip?
Jones: I’m generally happy for anybody who scores for us and helps the team. He played a great game today and made the difference. He has great talent and will go a long way. He doesn’t let anything get to him, or take any notice of what's said about him. That makes me even more pleased that he scored today and silenced the critics.
Question:Klaas-Jan Huntelaar just can't seem to score at the moment. How can the team help him?
Jones: At the end of the day, only he can get out of there. I know how ambitious and hungry he is, and that he's working hard to get back to his best form. He really is doing everything for it and the important thing is that he's working for the team - then somebody else can score the goals for him. He’ll score again, I’m sure of that.
Question: What are you going to do with these two days off?
Jones: When the kids are in school, I’m just going to lay down on the sofa and sleep.
Markus Hoffmann reporting from Gelsenkirchen