"We can only achieve our aims by working together" - Gelson Fernandes interview
As Eintracht begin preparations to face 1. FSV Mainz 05, Gelson Fernandes gives his thoughts on the upcoming game and his role in head coach Niko Kovac's squad.
Gelson, how do you assess the defeat away at Borussia Dortmund last weekend?
Gelson Fernandes: "We struggled in the first half and had a lot of trouble with our build-up play because Dortmund's pressing was very good. We were much better in the second half, though. Our performance after the break was at the level we demand of ourselves. Obviously it's a big shame we didn't get at least a point against such a strong team and we need to learn from that. In future we need to keep our focus after we score. That's really important."
What do you expect from Eintracht's next opponent, Mainz?
Gelson Fernandes: "Mainz will come here to fight and to pick up points. Survival is on the line for them so they'll give it everything they've got. You could see they've got a lot of quality in their squad in their last game against Schalke which they could have won. So it won't be easy for us. We need to train well and maintain our concentration."
How do you view your role at Eintracht? Were you disappointed not to have played on Sunday?
Gelson Fernandes: "No. I was in the starting line-up against Hannover and we won. When that happens obviously you hope to keep your place in the side the following week but I'm experienced enough to know that the coach has his reasons, so it's not a problem. The important thing is that I always work hard and am a role model for the younger players. I'm here to help the team and the club. We can only achieve our aims by working together. I want to be an example of that."
Kovac also has a lot of options available every week given the depth of the squad…
Gelson Fernandes: "Exactly, and that's a big positive. If somebody doesn't feel 100 per cent then there are always new players ready to come in. Everyone wants to show what they can do. Players like [Danny] Blum and [Luka] Jovic are the best examples of that recently, as are [Danny] da Costa and [Jonathan] de Guzman. That can be a big advantage in the last few weeks of the season."