Mönchengladbach - Boasting incisive movement, an eye for goal and keen instincts that just can’t be taught, German international is fast emerging as one of the signings of the season. The 25-year-old has made himself right at home at Borussia Mönchengladbach, with all of his three goals and four assists having been registered at the club's Borussia Park.
After Gladbach’s third-straight home win of the current campaign, a 4-1 victory against cellar-dwellers Eintracht Braunschweig, in which Kruse grabbed a goal and two assists, the Foals’ new front man discussed his side’s promising, but inconsistent start to the season and his chances in the national team.
Question: Max Kruse, congratulations on beating Braunschweig 4-1. How happy are you with the win?
Max Kruse: We’re delighted that we’ve been able to keep all three points. We ensured that our home record remained unblemished. That was our aim tonight. Now it’s time to turn our attention to next week’s encounter with Augsburg, so that we can ensure that we take something away from home as well.
Question: How difficult will that be?
Kruse: I think Augsburg are stronger than they were last year. They’re on a roll and already have nine points to their name. We’ll analyse their performances and make sure we’re well prepared. We have a responsibility to collect points on the road too.
Question: Can you explain the discrepancies between playing so well at home and so poorly on foreign soil?
Kruse: It’s difficult to explain. In our home games everything works to a tee, away from home nothing seems to come together, it’s too much of a rollercoaster ride. That’s not how we want to go on for the rest of the season, we’ve got to change something. Although if we win all of our home games then we’ll have at least 51 point (laughs), but nevertheless it’s up to us to play with more consistency and not lose so regularly on the road.
Question: Back to the game against Braunschweig. Despite Gladbach’s domination it almost became a very tight game again at one point.
Kruse: We scored quick goals when we were presented with the opportunity and had everything under control. That’s why we can’t allow ourselves to give the game away so soon after the break. We have to show more strength in that phase of the encounter, calm the game down and can’t sell ourselves short. We’ve still got to work on that.
Question: What were the reasons behind it?
Kruse: Somehow we were a little surprised, even though it was clear that Braunschweig would give everything they had to try and take something from the game in the second half. At that point we simply allowed ourselves to sit too deep and were just defending. That can’t be the way we play. At the end of the day though, we’re being ultra-critical of minor details. Ultimately we scored four goals. That’s the most important thing.
Question: You assumed the responsibility of taking the penalty. Was that the plan before the game?
Kruse: Filip Daems [injured] is actually meant to be the penalty taker, after that it’s either me or Martin Stranzl. We had talked beforehand about the fact that we’d decide during the game. I was feeling good and got the “ok” from Martin. After that I just shot the ball into the back of the net.
Question: Mario Gomez will be unavailable for the next round of international fixtures. Does that move you a step closer to Brazil?
Kruse: Brazil is still a long way away and we have a lot of quality with the Germany ranks. I’m always pleased when I’m invited to be part of the squad. First and foremost though, it’s my club performances that matter. That’s how I can assert myself. Everything will follow on after that.
Markus Hoffmann reporting from Mönchengladbach