The Red Bulls host Mainz 05 on Saturday at 15:30 CET in the Red Bull Arena for their first game of 2022. Ahead of the game, head coach Domenico Tedesco spoke o the media at a virtual press conference.
Here are the most important quotes.
Domenico Tedesco on...
... The week of training ahead of the game:
- "We originally planned to work on build-up play and our play in the final third. However, we had to make some changes to the sessions due to the absences. As we had the majority of our defenders available in training, we worked on pressing situations. Situations like the one we have at the moment are a part of football, especially currently during the pandemic. For us, however, it’s nothing new and doesn’t throw us off track."
... The fitness levels in attack:
- "It’s important that we work on a day-by-day basis. The fitness levels are hard to summarise using figures. The team trained today and were all out on the pitch. Tomorrow we’ll have another session and reassess again there."
... The upcoming opponents, Mainz 05:
- "Mainz have a robust team who are good from defending from the front. Not only with their pressing, but also when sitting deeply, they are never passive but rather compact and aggressive in defence.
I’m not surprised by their success this season. Since Christian Heidel returned to Mainz, they’ve developed stability and also made some clever transfers ahead of the Rückrunde before their turnaround last season. They play vertically, are disciplined in their backtracking and give you little time on the pitch. It’s a simple but very effective style of football."
I’m not surprised by Mainz's success this season.
... The departure of assistant Marco Kurth:
- "We spent a lot of time thinking during the break, not only about the coaching team. In the end we came to the decision to have a fresh start from the first day back in training and start from scratch. It wasn’t an easy decision, and that’s exactly how I explained it to Marco as well. Nothing special happened. It was just my interpretation that it was a necessary step and the club supported it 100%."
... The last game against Bielefeld:
- "Of course, the game was on our and the players’ minds for a while. There is nothing worse than going into the break on the back of a defeat. However, it can also be a chance. We had a number of different points to focus on during this week of training, and our video analysis sessions also included moments from the Bielefeld game."
... Implementing his philosophy:
- "I’ve got a very good feeling. The players ask a lot of questions and want to completely understand what we discuss in the analysis sessions and then carry that out. We also we discuss a lot out on the pitch, of course. I’ve got a good impression. The players have been able to take in everything that we’ve been putting across to them."
... The new technical director at Red Bull Soccer International, Mario Gomez:
- "We’ve both had a history involving Stuttgart, so we know each other a little bit from my time as a youth coach at VfB. We were able to chat a little during a few meetings. I think it’s a good thing for Mario and the club. You always benefit from having a personality such as his in your ranks."
Current team news:
- Christopher Nkunku was able to leave quarantine on Wednesday afternoon after returning a negative test. He rejoined team training on Thursday.
- Konrad Laimer is continuing working on his comeback after his ankle injury. He won't be available to face Mainz.
- Emil Forsberg will also not feature this weekend as he carries on rehabilitation after a left thigh injury.