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Thilo Kehrer: Everyone works hard for their mate


Next up for Thilo Kehrer and his teammates is the Europa League quarterfinal first-leg against Ajax on Thursday. He’s been speaking to us about the upcoming game in the Amsterdam Arena and previous unpleasant experiences with the Dutch.

Thilo Kehrer, the European journey goes on. The next stop is Amsterdam. What do you aim to bring back from the Netherlands?

We’re in the quarterfinal and know that with two good games against Ajax we can book our place in the next round. We’re going to give everything to reach the last four.

How do you rate your chances ahead of the first-leg?

We know that we can beat anyone and we go to Amsterdam with a lot of confidence. I think that a good team performance will be the key to success. The team playing well together is a big factor in us getting a good result.

What are the key ingredients for a good team performance?

Every player needs to be prepared to help his teammates. Mistakes can happen in football. What’s important is to compensate for these mistakes by playing as a team. There’s a good feeling on the pitch when you know that everyone is working hard for their mate.

Ajax have been playing well and have got themselves back in the race for the league title.

We’re aware of that. We’re coming up against a good attacking opponent and we will need to be well organised and up for the duels. I think that Ajax will say the same thing about us, though. We mustn’t shy away.

You’ve already had one unpleasant experience against the Dutch in the 2015 Youth League…

And we lost both games against them. I remember Kasper Dolberg scoring two goals against us in the return leg in Amsterdam. He was already an athletic striker with good technique. He headed the ball well and was dynamic. We need to be wary of him. But we don’t need to be scared; we know what we’re capable of.

What did you gain from this experience?

Ajax always has a strong team with technically good players. We need to be well organised and press the ball hard. They don’t like that. But we’re talking about an U19 game so we can only draw a few comparisons. This encounter will be on a totally different level.