Professionals | 06/05/2021

Interview

Duda: “Playing better as a team”

Ondrej Duda has scored five goals in his last seven games. He spoke with us about his form, his nomination for April’s Tor des Monats and the heavy loss to Freiburg in January.

Ondrej, after two wins in a row and week off, things are back underway on Sunday. How have you used the time in between?

Sometimes it’s good to have a break in the season. Sometimes you want to take the momentum from the good period and play on. After two wins in a row, we would have liked to keep playing. But we’ve used the time so that we can get to our coach and his ideas better. We play on Sunday and training has been very intense. We’ve had enough time to prepare us for the upcoming important games.

You play against Freiburg, Hertha and Schalke. How do you see the remaining games?

I don’t really want to speculate on what is possible. We need points and we want to try and win all three games. It doesn’t matter who we play against. We have already taken points from the big teams. At the same time, we haven’t managed to win against the teams where it might have been expected. Therefore, it is just about us and our performance.

You were part of the success in the last few games. In the last seven games, you’ve scored five goals. What do you part your form down to?

That’s difficult to say. Sometimes you just come into form. Sometimes you’re not and then it is important to keep going. There were also a few penalties amongst my goals. Even when it isn’t easy to score from the spot. I would say that we’re simply playing better as a team. Then everyone profits from that.

Your opener against Augsburg was nominated for Sportschau’s Goal of the Month for April. What would the award mean to you?

I’ve never received such an award before and was never nominated for Goal of the Month before. But it is definitely the best goal I’ve scored in my career. I would be really happy if I did win and it would be a confirmation of my performance. However, after that, it’s a case of keeping going and doing it again.

Since this week, you‘ve been in the quasi-Quarantine. Next week, you’re in the hotel. How are you looking ahead to the next few weeks?

For me, not much will change. In my normal day-to-day, I’ve been to the supermarket or gone for a walk at the very most. We have to hold ourselves to the rules. With the quarantine, it should ensure that the season is played to a close. That is the most important thing, and we accept that.

In January, there was a heavy defeat to be had against Freiburg. Does that play a role in the preparation for Sunday?

It’s not really in our heads any more. Freiburg have quality, that is clear. But we shouldn’t have lost 5:0, that is down to us. We were really poor on the day. Now we want to show something different against Freiburg and win.

What do you expect against Freiburg? Especially when Freiburg are playing this evening against Hertha.

I don’t think the game against Hertha will make a difference. If it was up to me, I’d play every three days. Then you’re in match mood and move between playing and regeneration. I don’t think that Freiburg will be especially tired, they’ll be focused and have enough quality in the squad.

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