Ingolstadt - An edgy performance in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with FC Ingolstadt 04 was not without its plus points for VfL Wolfsburg head coach Dieter Hecking.
The Wolves created few chances at the Audi-Sportpark, but when they did, new signing Julian Draxler was at the heart of them. Defensively, meanwhile, fellow Wolfsburg debutant Dante excelled on his first Bundesliga start of the season.
Draxler eyes improvement
"We didn’t play with enough urgency in the first half," Hecking admitted after the game. "We improved in the second half, but when you play as we did in the first you can’t expect to nick a 1-0 win. It wouldn’t have been deserved anyway. We can live with the point."
Draxler, less than a week after joining the 2014/15 Bundesliga runners-up from boyhood club FC Schalke 04, offered a similarly frank post-match critique - above all of his own performance. "Sometimes I could have attacked with more purpose," conceded the 21-year-old, despite warming the palms of Ingolstadt goalkeeper Ramazan Özcan in the 64th minute. "I realised I only got to know some of the players two or three days ago."
Dante makes presence felt
Chief among those unfamiliar faces is three-time Bundesliga winner Dante. Like Draxler, the Brazil international went straight into the Wolfsburg starting line-up on Matchday 4, having made the intra-Bundesliga switch to the Volkswagen Arena on transfer deadline day - and he did not disappoint. "He was absolutely dominant at the back" was Hecking’s succinct assessment of the former Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Bayern München centre-back's maiden run-out in a green and white shirt.
With Wolfsburg kicking off their second UEFA Champions League campaign on Tuesday night just as they began their first six years ago with a home tie against Russian outfit PFC CSKA Moskva, the coming weeks, as Draxler put it, are "really going to hot up". Fortunately, the new-look wolf pack have the manpower and quality to handle the added workload.