Despite their Bundesliga struggles leaving them in the relegation zone, Werder managed to pull off a huge upset in the Last 16 of the DFB Pokal. The underdogs ran out 3-2 winners in what was a spectacular game of football. Werder’s number one Jiri Pavlenka played a crucial part in earning his side the victory, making a number of impressive stops to deny Dortmund’s star-filled attack.
Interviewer: How good does it feel to finally to celebrate another victory?
Jiri Pavlenka: We wanted to get through to the next round, and we’ve managed to do that. It’s a great feeling so it was a really important game for all of us.
Interviewer: How do you explain being able to compete with a top side such as Borussia Dortmund with such a great performance, despite having so many negative results in the Bundesliga recently?
Pavlenka: We used the ball fantastically today. Most importantly, we wanted to play football. We also showed lots of fight and desire throughout the entire game.
Interviewer: How relieved are you?
Pavlenka: It was a game in which we had nothing to lose. Everything we did came off. But now it’s important to keep it going. Of course we’re enjoying it today, but it’s crucial that we get the three points against Union at the weekend. We need to put together a run of form. We’ve shown that we’re capable of playing good football.
Interviewer: You managed to beat Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal last season as well. As a team, do you perform better against the top teams than against the teams around you in the table?
Pavlenka: Yes, that seems to have been the case. We haven’t played well recently against teams when we’ve desperately needed the three points. But we’ve done well against other teams such as Dortmund, Leverkusen and Frankfurt. We need to find a way to perform against teams like Augsburg or Union Berlin.
Interviewer: The young Dortmund striker Erling Haaland cut the deficit to make it 2-1. How difficult is it to keep out such a prolific goal scorer?
Pavlenka: He’s young, quick and good on the ball; he’s a really good player for Dortmund.
Interviewer: You saved your team on a couple of occasions with some really important saves from Haaland and Reus towards the end of the game. How happy were you with your own performance?
Pavlenka: I just did my job.
Interviewer: Why is Florian Kohfeldt, who has been the subject to lots of criticism recently, still the right man to take Werder forward?
Pavlenka: Florian is a fantastic coach, he has a great philosophy and we’re all delighted that he’s here to stay.