Hecking: Healthy competition for places in starting XI

VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach boss Dieter Hecking believes that he is faced with the enviable problem of having several players competing for crucial positions in his squad.

In conversation with reporters ahead of his side’s first-round DFB-Pokal match against Rot-Weiss Essen, the new Gladbach boss was brimming with confidence and hailed the depth of quality at his disposal.

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“There are squads that pose a problem for managers because there aren’t enough options,” he stated.

“In that case, the line-up is easy to choose. And then there are squads where there is a really healthy competition for places and that’s great for the head coach. That’s what we have.

“It doesn’t ultimately matter whether I play Thorgan Hazard, Ibrahima Traoré, Patrick Herrmann, Fabian Johnson or Vincenzo Grifo on the wings because they all have quality,” he continued.

“Nevertheless it’s important that the players produce quality on the pitch. Again, it shouldn’t matter whether I play Christoph Kramer, Denis Zakaria, Jonas Hofmann or László Bénes – it shouldn’t have a big impact on the quality of the game.

“The difficulty is to find the right players for each match. I was very happy with our pre-season, even if the results weren’t always what we deserved from our performances.”

Mönchengladbach went on to win the tie despite conceding the first goal of the match. Jonas Hofmann cancelled out Benjamin Baier’s opener and with eight minutes left, Raffael scored the goal that sealed the comeback-win.

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