Davie Selke made the switch back to SV Werder Bremen in January. His aims now? To stay up in the Bundesliga and get through to at least the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal with a win against Eintracht Frankfurt. The 25-year-old spoke to our Oliver Jensen in an interview about the cup game, their relegation battle and the Olympics.
DFB.de: Mr. Selke, would you say the DFB-Pokal is a welcome distraction from the current relegation battle you’re in or is it more of a hindrance for you?
Davie Selke: We’ve done really well to get to the quarter finals of the DFB-Poakl, so we don’t see it is a hindrance, we see it as extra motivation. We’ve already said we want to win all our upcoming games, no matter what competition they’re in.
DFB.de: Do you think morale would be much higher amongst the squad if you did win?
Selke: I think the feeling in the dressing room at the minute is still good, despite the situation we’re in. Everyone knows how serious this is, but we never talk negatively in the dressing room. You have to take it game by game if you want to turn it around, and we definitely could do that with a win against Eintracht Frankfurt. We just simply need to win.
DFB.de: How do you view Frankfurt as an opponent this season?
Selke: I view Frankfurt as a very strong side. They have a good team, a good coach and great individual quality. They’ve completely settled in their system now too so it will certainly be a difficult game for us.
DFB.de: SV Werder Bremen managed to get a great win against Borussia Dortmund to get into the quarterfinals, and you scored the opening goal yourself. How did you and your team manage to pull off this win?
Selke: We simply showed exactly what we’re capable of achieving as a team. Games like that are the reason I chose to come back here to Bremen. There’s always such a good atmosphere at the Weserstadion, and we have to turn it into a fortress with our play on the pitch. It’s such a huge positive for us to have a stadium and a group of fans like the ones we do.
DFB.de: Bremen have now lost nine of their last ten games in the Bundesliga. What makes you think Werder have what it take to be playing in the Bundesliga again next season?
Selke: The quality we have in the team and the quality of the coaching staff, the fans we have at our backs, the special feeling you get when you think of Werder - all of this, for me, means we can definitely stay up.
DFB.de: Have you envisaged the scenario of facing Hamburg in the Relegation Playoff yet? Two Nord-derbies to stay in the league...
Selke: The Relegation Playoff is a long time off; there are a lot of games to be played between now and then. I can only say that would be an unreal fixture.
DFB.de: You said recently that SV Werder Bremen is a dream opportunity for you and that you turned down your dream move to the Premier League for Bremen. Looking back now, what do you make of your departure from Werder to Leipzig in 2015?
Selke: You will surely have heard what Werder’s sporting director Frank Baumann said about it won’ you...
DFB.de: That you didn’t actually want to leave Werder Bremen, but the club had to ensure transfer income in order to meet licensing requirements...
Selke: I think that says it all. But RB Leipzig is still a cool football club who are doing great work.
DFB.de: Back to the DFB-Pokal: Are you aware that you’ve never played in the quarterfinal of the competition?
Selke: (thinks for a second) Now that you say it, I’m realising it, yeah.
DFB.de: Does this make it a really special game for you?
Selke: Yes, I think so. The DFB-Pokal is an awesome competition. I was at the final where Eintracht Frankfurt beat FC Bayern München. There’s always a special atmosphere at a final, a special kind of buzz around the ground. Imagining half of that stadium being Werder’s green and white is massive motivation for me.
DFB.de: This summer, it’s not only the EUROS, but also the Olympic Games, where Germany will have be represented. You were at the Games in Rio 2016 when Germany reached the final. What can the players selected this year look forward to?
Selke: They can look forward to a special experience. The Olympics is an experience that will enrich you as both a person and a footballer. You stay at the Olympic Village and get to know a different culture, it’s incredible. If you’re successful, you can sense the support from Germany. When we got through the groups, you could feel that it had an impact on people back home.
DFB.de: The final in Estadio Jornalista Mario, in front of 63,000 spectators, standing alongside superstars like Neymar and Gabriel Jesus – was that the biggest game of your career?
Selke: Good question. (thinks for a moment). It probably was, yes. It was a truly special occasion, playing the final in Rio against Brazil.
DFB.de: What did you see of the Olympic Games outside of football?
Selke: Even though you spend the majority of your time with your teammates, you get to know a lot of different athletes – we all eat together in the canteen. We spent a lot of time with Germany’s handball team and the women’s national football team, for example. We also watched one of Germany’s handball games live. We watched other events, such as Usain Bolt’s 100 metre sprints, on the TV as a team. It was a cool experience.