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Interviews

MARKUS SCHOPP ON STOKE TEST

14 September 2021

The boss offered his thoughts ahead of Wednesday night's clash with Stoke City.

PLAYER AVAILABILITY

“He’s (Ben Williams) not going to be available for tomorrow, maybe next week he comes back. It could have been a lot worse, we feared the worst. So we’re happy with that. 

“With Josh Benson, he tested positive (for COVID) Friday, then negative, then positive again on the Saturday morning, so we couldn’t have him with us. But he’s feeling okay and the symptoms aren’t bad so we hope he recovers from the virus at home. 

“Rémy Vita only arrived with us yesterday so he’s only just joined in training, it’s a bit difficult to know whether he could be used straight away. But he’s an option. It’s great to finally have him with the group.

“Jordan Williams has joined back in, but it’s too soon for him. Mads Andersen is a couple of weeks away, and Carlton Morris a little longer than that. With Obbi Oularé he is working with the staff to try and get him in a good way, and we look forward to that because he’s going to offer something different for us.”

ON BOURNEMOUTH DEFEAT

“We won the ball high up the pitch but then we’d lose it just as quickly and a team like Bournemouth can easily punish you, which they did right at the start of both halves which destroyed our gameplan. 

“We need to handle certain situations in a much better way. It’s nothing to do with age or experience, it’s having the right mindset and mentality. But I think Saturday was completely different from the other games. It was a one-off.

“In other games we’ve probably died in terms of energy. Or we’ve lacked a finisher, someone to take the chances for us. These are all things that we are working on and the players know what we are doing here. In the locker room at half-time for example, we went through the exact scenario in terms of Bournemouth’s threat, and then we concede from that same play within a minute.

“We just need a bit of time, some patience.”

CHALLENGING TIMES

“We are in a process. We’ve had a lot of little issues getting thrown up that makes things harder at times. That’s the same for every club. But the thing with Josh for example, to have that happen on the day we are travelling was a tough one. One minute he’s positive, then negative and it had an effect.

“We are looking forward to things calming down as soon as possible. The less issues, the easier it is to plan and to go through the process.”

ON STOKE CITY

“They’ve started very well, it’s a good team who are having confident performances especially at home. They know how to attack high up, so we know what we are up against. 

“But we aren’t fearing anything. We know what we have here, and we are convinced that we’ll get the results we need. We go into tomorrow night’s game going for the victory.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my guys react. Let’s get something tomorrow night.”


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