Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 were having a frustrating afternoon against SV Werder Bremen on Saturday and, with the clock ticking down, appeared to be heading for an unlikely home defeat. Kevin-Prince Boateng had other ideas, however, and his headed brace lifted the Royal-Blues to a 3-1 victory to keep them in the top third of the table.
After the final whistle, the 26-year-old Ghana international responded with ith typical candidness about his matchwinning performance...
Question: Kevin-Prince Boateng, your two goals eventually took Schalke to victory over Werder Bremen…
Kevin-Prince Boateng: And would you believe it, with my head. I’ve never scored a headed brace before, but with such outstanding crosses, you’ve just got to put them into the net.
Question: You weren’t as eye-catching today as you can be, but your goals were the turning point…
Boateng: Well isn’t that what’s expected from me? No game is easy and you can’t always play to your full potential. I’m pleased though, that I managed 90 minutes against Bremen, and scoring two goals is even more of a plus. It was great to win today in order to bounce straight back from the defeat to Chelsea.
Question: Was the pressure noticeably higher today after the Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea losses?
Boateng: The pressure is always high here, particularly after a loss in the Champions League. We responded really well to the pressure and picked up a deserved victory. We’ve got to develop a bit more self-confidence now, and then we’ll win more games.
Question: When you went a goal down, was the spectre of another defeat looming large?
Boateng: No, absolutely not. We were creating good chances, and just took a bit longer than usual to pick up the three points. Going into half-time we could have been leading by two or three goals, and that’s exactly what we said in the dressing-room, that we just had to put it in the net. We defended well, looked good going forward, and had created chances - the only thing missing was the goal. We knew that we’d win as soon as we got the equaliser.
Question: What did you feel from the fans in the stands when you were on the field?
Boateng: When we went a goal down, you could certainly understand their nervousness, but when they saw how we were fighting, the distance we were covering and just the total effort from the team, they really got behind us. We expect that from our fans, and they’ve got every right to expect us always to fight for them.
Question: Jefferson Farfan crowned his comeback with a goal, do you think him being back fit and available means you might go up front on your own again?
Boateng: I don’t think so. With Adam Szalai we’ve got a very good centre-forward. He really battled today and strikers should always get involved. He did that this afternoon, and really put himself about. He’s always very present and is very important for the team.
Question: You looked worried when you took a blow on your knee, what happened there?
Boateng: It was just a bump in the end and nothing too serious. I’m feeling really, really good at the moment, if I wasn't, then I wouldn’t have played ninety minutes. On a personal note, I’ve got a couple of days to recover and then am heading off with the Ghanaian national team.
Transcribed by Dietmar Nolte