Mönchengladbach - Could the spring herald the end of Granit Xhaka's winter of discontent?
The Swiss midfielder found playing time at a premium either side of the festive break, but is hoping to have played his way back into the plans of Foals coach Lucien Favre, having completed 90 minutes for the first time since Matchday 6 in Saturday evening's 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen...
Question: Granit Xhaka, what did you make of the 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen?
Granit Xhaka: It's a shame we only got the draw. We still had our chances. We controlled the game, but Bremen didn't give us much room. It's unfortunate we couldn't get the win. Overall we can be happy with a point, though.
Question: Why couldn't you get the win?
Xhaka: We dictated the play for 90 minutes. We were given plenty of room to build, but Bremen sat with ten men behind the ball. So in the middle of the park it was really congested. We had to be patient and still created chances through Peniel Mlapa shortly before the full-time whistle. That was our opportunity to take the three points.
Question: Have Gladbach dropped important points in the race for the European places?
Xhaka: I don't really know. The league's really tight and anything can happen. We have to push on and show our worth in our next game against Hannover.
bundesliga.com: You've spent a long time watching games from a distance. How would you rate your own performance?
Xhaka: I don't think I played a single bad pass over the course of the 90 minutes. That was my aim. That's also what the coach wanted from me. I wanted to keep it simple and play a solid game.
Question: You're naturally one of those players that likes to get forward. Do you sometimes have to restrain yourself in the holding role?
Xhaka: The coach expects us all to do a job offensively and defensively. If one player goes forward, the other has to stay back. I think the understanding with Havard Nordtveit was very good today.
Question: What's next for you?
Xhaka: I wanted to prove my worth today and I think it went really well. The coach will have seen he can rely on me. Monday's a new week and I'll continue to work hard. Then we'll see what the coach does. I'm ready, no matter how many minutes I get, but I prefer to play from the start.
Markus Hoffmann reporting from Mönchengladbach