After in important away win in Cologne, the Bulls host SC Paderborn on Saturday afternoon (kick-off: 15:30 CEST) in the Red Bull Arena.
While Leipzig picked up three massive points, the Westphalia side suffered a heavy 6-1 home defeat at the hands of second-placed Borussia Dortmund. In his pre-game press conference, Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann spoke to the media about Saturday's opposition, current form, leaders in the squad and youngster Tom Krauss' contract extension.
Julian Nagelsmann on ...
... SC Paderborn:
"Paderborn always manage to find a solution out on the pitch, and have stuck to their guns for the entire season. The team's approach is to play attractive football, I like that.
The past has shown that they always play hard and try to get points. Our position in the table basically forces us to pick up three points, and we won't ease off just because Paderborn are bottom."
… current form:
- "We're conceding first far too often, and so we have to push ourselves to our limits to often. This has to be avoided in the future, so that we don't risk exhaustion and also avoid mental tiredness. We to need to be more clinical in creating chances early on in games and have to stay alert off the ball.
But we're playing in the Bundesliga: every team has something about them, and not every goal conceded is avoidable. We didn't concede many in the first half of the season and we've lapsed in this regard since the winter break. I want to lead the team to a better defensive record."
… leaders in his squad:
- "It's always about helping each other to improve and avoid problems through a breakdown in communication. Marcel Sabitzer always looks to coach the others and Kevin Kampl is always vocal. Willi Orban is also a great leader - on and off the pitch. Tyler Adams has these qualities too, but just needs to develop them a bit more."
… Tom Krauss' contract extension:
- "Since I promoted him to the first team last summer, I've gotten a good impression of him as a player. He could've even made the starting XI in that time. But he just lacked a bit of physicality, which is normal for a youth player.
I always say that youth products find it tougher to play in a team that is fighting for something. There's less room for experimentation. But he'll need playing time soon in order to get a feel for it and to show his enormous potential."
+++ Squad News +++
- Kevin Kampl has returned to team training after recovering from muscle problems. He is an option to start.
- Ibrahima Konaté has also started training with the team. But he will not feature on Saturday.
- Ethan Ampadu has recovered from recent back problems and is being slowly reintroduced to team training. He is currently doing an individual training programme.
- Marcel Halstenberg returns from suspension and is available.
- Timo Werner and Marcel Sabitzer have both picked up four yellow cards, and would receive a suspension should either one be booked again.