Aymen Barkok shares his thoughts on an eventful 2017 and Eintracht Frankfurt’s upcoming encounters in the second half of the Bundesliga season.

Aymen, how are you feeling after the week in Spain?

Aymen Barkok: “I feel good. The cooler weather here in Germany obviously takes some getting used to, but we’ve had a good week of training in Spain and a productive couple of days back in Frankfurt. We’re now looking forward to returning to action on Saturday.”

What sort of game are you expecting against SC Freiburg?

Aymen Barkok: “Freiburg are very tough to play against. The coach Christian Streich has got them well organised, but we obviously want to get the three points on home soil. We’ve been preparing very hard during the week, working on different formations, ball retention and so on. I’m confident that if we take our chances on Saturday we’ll win the match.”

How will you look back on 2017?

Aymen Barkok: “It was a successful and enlightening year for me. It all started with my debut in Bremen in November 2016 and I had a few good games after that. Then I was stuck in a bit of a rut - even the simplest things wouldn’t come off for me. That’s all part and parcel of the game, though. You have to learn from these things and keep working hard in training. Things picked up again towards the end of the year. The coach was a huge help - he gave me plenty of advice.”

What are your hopes for the second half of the season?

Aymen Barkok: “Normally I don’t look beyond the next training session or the next game. I want to be an option for the coach, but the final decision always lies with him. At the end of the day, all that counts is that the team is successful. The main thing is we win our games.”