Midfielder Sebastian Rode spoke to us about his earlier-than-expected comeback, the tie against Strasbourg and the other challenges coming up in the near future.

Sebastian Rode is delighted that the cartilage damage did not have him sidelined for six-to-nine months as initially feared and that he was back in full training in around a month.
Sebastian Rode is delighted that the cartilage damage did not have him sidelined for six-to-nine months as initially feared and that he was back in full training in around a month.

Seppl, how do you feel after getting your first few minutes of actual competitive football under you belt?
It went pretty well, I felt I was at a decent standard against Vaduz, particularly since I hadn’t had any friendlies prior to that. It felt good to get out there again and face Hoffenheim and get some more playing time. Everyone wants to play in the Bundesliga and I got myself fully ready after half-time so that I could come on as quickly as possible when we made a substitution.

What are you expecting from the matches with Strasbourg?
It will be like a Round of 16. These are elimination matches to get into the next round. The next two games are our way of making sure that we can enjoy another great European Cup season. And despite that, we’re fully aware that we could just as easily get knocked out.

What do you think you can achieve this season?

It would be misplaced to give our word that we’re going to get into the semi-finals again. First and foremost we want to make it into the group stage and then if possible, get through that. We need to concentrate on setting short-term goals and winning one match at a time. We want to be up there in the league but the other teams have strengthened considerably. It’s tough to judge how good the various clubs are at the moment, but what I do know is that we’ve got a good team, and anything’s possible.

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