Gelsenkirchen - It was a good day indeed for FC Schalke 04 after their 2-0 home success over Hertha Berlin gave new coach Roberto Di Matteo a maiden win on his touchline bow in the German top flight.
bundesliga.com rounds up what those most involved had to say after Saturday's late Matchday 8 encounter...
FC Schalke 04
Julian Draxler: It was important to start the new coach's reign with three points and we managed that. It's never easy when a new coach comes in and brings in new ideas and it was hardly a feast of attacking football today, but the most important thing is that we took the three points. We defended excellently and remained compact. We showed our class going forward, even though it didn't all click immediately. We've started well, and now the focus turns to Tuesday [against Sporting Clube de Portugal in the UEFA Champions League]. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: We put the new coach's requests into action and really wanted to win. We were very strong defensively and created some good chances. In the first half, we had three excellent opportunities and a few more in the second. Importantly, we kept the clean sheet, which is how you win games. Benedikt Höwedes: We wanted to defend well and not concede a goal. We managed that and are happy with our efforts. You've got to remember that we had several players on international duty in the past week and so the whole squad wasn't training together. Our aim was to stay central and not get dragged out to the flanks as well as making sure the holding midfielders were well-positioned. It was a good step forward and we'll keep working hard.
Salomon Kalou: We’re playing very well at the moment at home. When we’re at home we’re an attacking team, we’re scoring goals. I think we need to translate that into away games. If we manage to get a good balance between home games and away games I think we can have a good performance this season. Nico Schulz: Once they took the lead it was pretty tough. Their positioning was good throughout, and they're a strong side. Conceding the goals when we did made it even harder, and we didn't make the most of our own opportunities. If you don't take your chances, you're not going to win. Fabian Lustenberger: We played well, especially in attack, but we switched off a bit at the back in the first half. Football's about scoring goals, which we didn't do today. They had three chances and scored twice, but there are plenty of positives to take from the game. We were playing against one of the best teams in the league: we took the game to them and saw more of the ball. I'm a little disappointed, but we'll keep working hard. Valentin Stocker: They were just more efficient. We had chances to take the lead in the first half and chances to equalise after that. Schalke had three chances and took two of them. It wasn't easy trying to break down their defence, but we need to take our chances when they come and be more clinical in the final third.
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