On Sunday evening (17:30 CET) VfL Bochum 1848 welcome 1. FC Köln to Castroper Strasse. It’s matchday 7 of the 2022/23 season and it’s the lads’ first fixture without Thomas Reis as VfL head coach after three years. An important game for Bochum. Ahead of the match interim trainer Heiko Butscher and director of sport Patrick Fabian answered the journalists’ questions.

Heiko Butscher on… 

...the squad: Paul Grave, Konstantinos Stafylidis, Dominique Heintz, Jacek Goralski, Lys Mousset, Takuma Asano and Mohammed Tolba are not fit to play. 

…the match against 1 FC Köln: I was at their Conference League match yesterday trying to get an impression of the team. Köln are well structured, they press forward quite early, have numerous intense runs and several quality players. They are definitely a very strong side and play international football and deservedly so.

…his impression of the team: This week we wanted the team to focus on the training sessions. Every single minute was expected to be used to leave a solid impression on me. I have the sense that they are awake and willing to give their everything on the pitch on Sunday. I haven’t done many one-on-one conversations. I wanted to put down a marker that there’s not always a need to talk. It’s important to make conversations. We spoke a lot about how we are planning to perform on Sunday. But, my plan this week was less talking, more doing.

…his position and his first time as a Bundesligsa head coach: It’s great fun to work with a Bundesliga side, but it’s a definite plan –  as agreed on by both sides – that I am going to return to the Under 19 squad afterwards. I am going to stay head coach for as long as the team needs me

…a possible starting line-up: Of course, I have some concrete thoughts in my mind, who has the best playmaking abilities, also looking at the upcoming opponent. I have many people in my staff that are very familiar with the squad and together we keep thinking about the line-up for Sunday’s game. What matters are the performances in the recent, but also in the past training sessions. It is important to pick the best possible first eleven.

…possible changes: We don’t change anything on our daily routine. We stick to the current procedures as they are the most useful ones.

Director of sport Patrick Fabian on…

…the community VfL Bochum: We have to concentrate on the sporting aspect. That is true for both the team as well as the coaching staff and the fans. We need the support from the stands on Sunday to succeed. I’m sure that the team will give their all to build a strong unit. We as the community VfL Bochum are eager to score three points, anything else would not have the necessary effect.

…his impressions of this week’s training sessions: The lads have performed pretty well in the training sessions, they were all fired up in their actions. That is the fundamental requirement to convert it to the pitch on the weekends. Good training performances are the base for the matchday fixtures – and they were great. Heiko and I are in a regular communication, I can agree on his impressions.

…the state of affairs concerning the manager search: I‘m not giving any comments on that. We’re fully focussed on Sunday’s match. If there’s anything to announce, you’ll hear it.