Nuremberg - Josip Drmic is one of the leading lights in an 1. FC Nürnberg side who cannot rid themselves of a habit of drawing games.
In an interview with bundesliga.com, he looks back on the first half of the season with the Bavarians, and why he is encouraged for the second half of the campaign.
bundesliga.com: Hello, Herr Drmic, Club Fans who think back over this first half of the season will probably think to the 3-3 draw with Hannover – a game which you led 3-0. What are your memories of that game?
Josip Drmic: I think that was more bitter for me than it was for my team mates – I was substitued when it was 3-1 and had to watch powerlessly from the bench as these two incredible goals fell. I almost bit my fingers down to the bone, it was such an unbelievable game.
bundesliga.com: Your coach Gertjan Verbeek seemed to take it more in his stride, even though the goal which made it 3-2 was clearly offside...
Josip Drmic: He surprised me. He remained very calm and collected and told everybody on the pitch to keep their cool because we can do without any suspensions in our relegation battle. We then played another really good game against Schalke.
bundesliga.com: ... and once again you played the way Verbeek wants to see you playing...
Drmic: Exactly. We pressed really well, got at them from the off and created chances. That's just the kind of football the coach wants to see. Earlier, it was always a case of us creating too few chances, but that's changed now.
bundesliga.com:What's the next step?
Drmic: Now we've got to defend better and strike the right balance between attacking and defending.
bundesliga.com: How would you sum up your own first half of the season?
Drmic: Overall I'm very happy, but that doesn't get us anything because the important thing now is that the upwards trend continues.
bundesliga.com: Back in the summer, you seemed very happy to have arrived in the Bundesliga...
Drmic: To be totally honest, I enjoy every day and moment here. The stadiums, the fans, the games, the quality – it's all on a different level to Switzerland. I'm really delighted here.
bundesliga.com: What's more likely – that you stay up with Nürnberg or that Switzerland get through the FIFA World Cup group stage?
Drmic: That's a nasty question, but fine, I'll say that it's more probable that the Club remain in the Bundesliga, but the World Cup is still a long way away and I haven't even given any thought to Brazil.
bundesliga.com: Then we shall wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014, with more success. Do you know what you will be doing for New Year?
Drmic: It's going to be pretty unspectacular with my family in Split. I'm really looking forward to seeing so many members of my family again for the first time in a long time.
Interview by Christoph Ruf