Freiburg - Another game, another hugely impressive display and yet another victory for SC Freiburg. On Friday night, it was Hannover 96's to feel the force of Christian Streich’s team, whose 3-1 success continues their surge up the league table.
Attacking midfielder Max Kruse was again one of the chief architects of a win that takes Freiburg to fifth in the standings and he capped his display with a tenth league goal of the campaign. After the final whistle, the 25-year-old reflected on a satisfying evening's work for the Black Forest club.
Question: Max Kruse, congratulations on the 3-1 victory against Hannover. What was the key to victory?
Max Kruse: We played with maturity and that was the most important thing. The coach explained to us before the game how important it was to play sensibly. Now we can go into the weekend in a relaxed frame of mind and watch what happens in the other games. We’ve got a few days to recharge our batteries now.
Question: How sure were you that Freiburg would win this game?
Kruse: You can never be completely sure, but I obviously had a good feeling when we made it 3-1. The relief was there to see throughout the team. We moved the ball more easily and we played really well right until the end. And we shouldn’t forget that we played against a team with a lot of a quality both in defence and attack.
Question: The same can be said for your team too...
Kruse: We can definitely be really pleased with how the last few weeks have gone for us. We’re delighted with how things are.
Question: Freiburg have beaten Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hamburger SV and now Hannover in recent weeks. That must be the perfect way to prepare for next Wednesday and a semi-final in the DFB Cup against VfB Stuttgart.
Kruse: The omens are good, no question about that, but we still have to be careful against Stuttgart. They' re struggling slightly right now and they won’t be too satisfied with how the season has gone for them. For them, the cup is their last chance to qualify for Europe and they’ll be extremely motivated, so we have to make sure that we’re not on the end of a backlash.
Question: Where do you consider Stuttgart’s strengths to be?
Kruse: Technically they have a very good team and they’ll be giving it everything they have, but we want to dictate the game on our terms. This game was a dress rehearsal for Stuttgart and we’ve made a good job of it.
Question: Will it be a special game for you personally seeing as a good friend of yours,
Martin Harnik, plays for VfB?
Kruse: Of course. Only one of us will be able to enjoy the feeling of travelling to Berlin for a Cup final, but our friendship won’t be affected by the result.
Christoph Ruf reporting from Dortmund