Gelsenkirchen - refused to pull any punches after FC Schalke 04 could only manage a 1-1 draw in the home leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier with PAOK FC on Wednesday.

Speaking after the game, the 19-year-old spoke of his disappointment at his side's inability to build on such a promising first half, before looking ahead with cautious optimism to the return leg in Greece, the season beyond and his burgeoning midfield partnership with young Max Meyer.

Question: Julian Draxler, your captain Benedikt Höwedes saw plenty of good signs in the game. Did you?

Julian Draxler: I don't want to contradict him, but 50 good minutes are not enough across an entire game. Sure, we were a class above against Saloniki compared to the last game against Wolfsburg, but that wasn't exactly hard. We should have gone on to make it 2-0. Instead, we conceded the equaliser with the Greeks' first shot on goal. We've every chance, though, and shouldn't bury our heads in the sand. We can build on the first-half performance.

Question: It's not the ideal position going into the return leg...

Draxler: I still think it's 50/50. We also have every opportunity should we draw in Greece. We shouldn't be so sceptical.

Question: The team appears a little uneasy after a poor start to the Bundesliga season. Is a win in Hanover on Saturday a must to restore a bit of calm?

Draxler: It's true we're now in need of a positive result, but we shouldn't get hung up on it if the first few games don't go according to plan. It's only the beginning of the season and we have a long path ahead of us. We want to get through this phase.

Question: How is it that in each game so far you have conceded at least once?

Draxler: That's difficult to say. Clearly it's our biggest problem. We all played out of our skins in the first half against Saloniki. In the second half, we gave one or two per cent less and it is noticeable immediately. Too often we held back instead of putting the opposition under pressure. We have to change that as quickly as possible. We have to make sure we play well for the full 90 minutes.

Question: Could Schalke's unfortunate start to the season have a negative impact on the entire campaign?

Draxler: A Champions League qualifier of course affects the trajectory of the coming season. We want to make the group stages at all costs. Like with every game, we'll prepare for the return leg from scratch, but we can take a few positives with us too. I'm sure that, despite the draw against Saloniki, we've taken the first step towards turning the tide.

Question: Against Saloniki, you played alongside 17-year-old Max Meyer in attacking midfield, where both of you traded places quite a bit. Is that something we will see in the future?

Draxler: It worked well. We had more variation to our attacking game. In the first half, the Greeks didn't know who to track. Max went about his job really well and showed what a good player he is. There's no doubt he'll enjoy more time in the starting line-up in the future.