Sinsheim - After a swashbuckling display to down Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern München a fortnight ago, Borussia Mönchengladbach picked up where they left off by taking TSG 1899 Hoffenheim apart in a 4-1 victory on Saturday.
It was the Foals’ seventh successive league game unbeaten, a streak that has put them firmly on course for automatic UEFA Champions League qualification next term. Key to their latest triumph was once again winger Patrick Herrmann, who scored twice to take his tally to ten for the season. Speaking after the match, the 24-year-old reflected on the victory and looked ahead to Gladbach’s upcoming DFB Cup quarter-final encounter…
Question: Patrick Herrmann, Gladbach were excellent today. What did you make of the game?
Herrmann: That’s true, we moved the ball around well. Hoffenheim pressed us high up the pitch but we found ways around that and played the ball out from the back superbly. Once we’d done that then there was obviously more space which we could exploit.
Question: All of Gladbach’s goals stemmed from the left side of the pitch. Was that a deliberate ploy?
Herrmann: We always try to play by using the flanks to get forward. It’s served us really well in plenty of games and worked really well today too. It’s always dangerous when the ball is played between the goalkeeper and the back four as someone can always slide in to score - like I did to make it 2-1.
Question: You extended your contract last week, scored two goals today and were involved in the others too...
Herrmann: That’s right, things couldn’t really be going any better. I’ve always said I feel at home in Gladbach. Now I can have a clear head for the next few years and that helps you to play well. That won’t only benefit me but also the whole team, as you could see today.
Question: After a victory like this you must be really keen to play in the Champions League...
Herrmann: We’ve got it all in our own hands and things are looking good up to now. However, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. If we keep going like we have been then we could really achieve something this year.
Question: Next on the calendar is a quarter-final tie away to third division side Arminia Bielefeld…
Herrmann: Yeah, things are really coming to a head. We got to the semi-finals once before but narrowly lost out to Bayern, so we really want to reach that stage again. Playing in a semi-final is a massive occasion and on Wednesday we’ve got the chance to get there. We want to make the most of it.
Question: After beating Bayern and now Hoffenheim, is there a risk of complacency in facing Bielefeld?
Herrmann: There’s always a danger and it’s no coincidence that Bielefeld have gotten this far in the DFB Cup. We have to accept our role as favourites, clear our heads and give it our all. It’s always difficult against lower-league opponents. Anyone who watches a cup final always wants to play in one themselves. In order to achieve that we have to be focused and really go for it.
Tobias Schächter reporting from Hoffenheim.