Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 captain Benedikt Höwedes hailed the performance of defensive colleague Atsuto Uchida after the Royal Blues ground out a 1-0 win against FC Augsburg in Matchday 10's opener.
Uchida followed up signing a new three-year deal at the club by assisting the match-winning goal against the Bavarians, with Höwedes labelling him a "really important player" for the Gelsenkirchen club. bundesliga.com rounds up the post-match reaction from the Veltins Arena...
FC Schalke 04
Benedikt Höwedes: It was a tough game and we didn't show a lot of the things that the coach wanted to see from us. We're obviously happy to have won the game but that's probably the only positive. Uchida is a really important player for us. He manages his side of the pitch so well and is important in our build-up play too. Even if he doesn't understand the language all the time, he's always a really laid-back, polite guy. He's our little Japanese kamikaze and we're delighted to have him. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: We played well going forward, I thought. When it's 1-0 and you're in the lead, it takes the pressure off a bit, although it can always easily be 1-1. It was a hard-fought victory and the three points are the main thing. We need to be better, but for today, we'll take the 1-0. It's a shame we didn't score a few more, but we fought hard for the points and got them. You saw Uchida's desire to get past his man, get to the by-line and get the cross in, and I was able to get on the end of it. The Sporting game is a big one for us. If we can win against them, or get a positive result, we'll almost be through in the Champions League, so that's really important. Jan Kirchhoff: We need to improve our ball retention and control, but that'll come with time. As long as we're taking points, like we did today, then that's the main thing. We'll improve, especially when we've got so much quality going forward, which we needed today because we didn't have as much possession. We're now aiming for three points in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Paul Verhaegh: We had some massive chances today and we were definitely the better team, but we couldn't put the ball over the line. Schalke did, and that was the difference, even though we had some really good chances. They countered well but it’s hard to believe that we didn't at least take something, particularly when you see the game and the chances we had. We pushed for the equaliser right until the end but we just lacked that final pass, or the shot was blocked. Today wasn't even like the other away games where we've started slowly. We were good right from the off. We have Paderborn next week and they're having a great season, so it will be tough. But we have to keep playing the way we are. Daniel Baier: Schalke scored with one of their few shots and we couldn't hit the back of the net no matter what we did. I think it's a bit of everything combining that we're struggling away from home, but we thought we were better today. They scored and we didn't. We need to put the ball in the net to start winning. Halil Altintop: It was a great feeling to come back [to my hometown], but we're going home empty-handed and that's obviously a big disappointment as I thought we deserved at least a draw. We could have been 2-0 up at half time if we'd been a bit more composed on the ball and maybe I could have placed the ball better with the chance that I missed, but you can't forget that our last few away games have all been against teams in Europe, games in which we've competed well and managed to control phases of the game. We're still a young team in the Bundesliga and maybe were lacking that winning mentality that teams like Schalke have, where they say “no matter how badly we play, we’ll win the game”, but I'm sure if we carry on playing this way, we'll be on the right track.