Sascha Mockenhaupt of third-tier side SV Wehen Wiesbaden will be playing against the club he supports on Saturday (20:45 CEST), when his team takes on defending champions Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal. In an interview with DFB.de, the 29-year-old talks about his dream tie.
DFB.de: Your team has started this season with two points from two games in the 3. Liga. What did you make of the two goalless draws?
Sascha Mockenhaupt: A mixed bag. We performed really well and could have won both matches. In the more recent 0-0 especially, we were the better team and more dominant. But at the end of the day football is a results-driven sport, so it does feel like we have dropped four points.
DFB.de: Tactically, how has your new formation contributed to you starting without conceding a goal?
Mockenhaupt: We’ve changed a few things after letting in 53 goals last season, and one of those is knowing when to put your opponent under pressure. So far this has worked well and it starts with our attacking players. The fact that we still haven’t conceded is down to the entire team, and, for me, has less to do with the change from a back four to a back three. The new system doesn’t mean that we have less going forward - for example, as a centre-back I have more freedom to join in offensively. As a whole we are more difficult to figure out, so now we must also take our opportunities.
DFB.de: So far, how difficult has it been to take your mind off the upcoming cup tie against defending champions BVB?
Mockenhaupt: After the draw was made, we obviously spoke about it in the dressing room. In the DFB-Pokal, it doesn’t get much bigger than Borussia Dortmund. There is also the emotional aspect for me as a Dortmund fan. As a kid, everyone dreams about becoming a professional footballer. Now I am fulfilling another dream by playing against BVB in a competitive match. Until now we were focused on the start of the 3. Liga season and as a professional, I should be able to push the cup to the back of my mind until the time comes. As a leader, I also demand this of myself.
DFB.de: But now the clash with last year’s winners is upon us. In the meantime have you and your teammates realised what a special opponent awaits you in the first round?
Mockenhaupt: I often stood in the south terrace at BVB home matches and I was there when we celebrated winning things. Of course the coaching staff will show us video analysis to prepare us for Dortmund, but the quality we are facing will probably only become fully clear to us when we’re on the pitch and we can see the speed and movement of the opposition.
DFB.de: The video of you reacting to the first round draw now has more than 500,000 views on TikTok. Is that something you expected?
Mockenhaupt: Definitely not. I would never have thought that the video would have had such a reaction. That wasn’t my intention either. When it was Borussia Dortmund that came out of the hat, I knew that it wouldn’t be enough just to write “good tie” on social media. That would not have been genuine. I have never made it a secret that I’m a Dortmund fan. When I live stream, I always have a BVB cushion in the background. That’s why I posted the video.
DFB.de: Were there one or two jokes after the draw?
Mockenhaupt: Straight after the draw, my teammate, Gianluca Korte, called me on video and immediately said: “I knew that you would be crying with joy”. In training there were a few things said like “You’re going to score an own-goal” or “Don’t pull out of 50-50s with Haaland”. But the way to show respect to your favourite team, in my opinion, is to leave everything on the pitch.
DFB.de: BVB have just recruited another attacker in Donyell Malen. What is your opinion on that?
Mockenhaupt: As a fan, I think it’s a good bit of business. It means that the club has signed more quality, especially since Jadon Sancho has gone to Manchester United. As a possible opponent though, I’d also say: “It would have been fine had the transfer gone through two weeks later. (he laughs) We’ll see if he plays against us so soon.
DFB.de: Who knows the Dortmund team better: Your manager Rüdiger Rehm or you?
Mockenhaupt: When I watch a match as a fan, the professional footballer in me notices a few things. Maybe I could add something to the player analysis. Rüdiger Rehm and his coaching staff will have the better understanding of the team’s tactics, and will adjust the team according to that.
DFB.de: Let me ask you directly: How do you plan to stop Dortmund attacking through Erling Haaland and Marco Reus?
Mockenhaupt: What is clear, is that if Borussia Dortmund can play at their best against us, we will have no chance. Even so, there is a certain unpredictability with BVB. Marco Rose is a new manager, and this will be his first game in charge. Some of their players who went to the Euros have only just returned to training or are carrying knocks. They also had positive Corona tests. I’m sure Dortmund were imagining things to be different. That does not change the fact that they are the favourites and we really cannot make cheap mistakes. We will also lose one on ones, so we have to make sure that there is always cover. We want to be brave, even though we are the clear outsiders.
DFB.de: After the game will you get a souvenir?
Mockenhaupt: I have jerseys of friends and former colleagues all hanging in one room. I would definitely make an exception for an original BVB jersey. I have had the thought that maybe I could offer their kit manager one of my shirts and an envelope in return for all their shirts. (he laughs) I have already planned to swap my shirt after the game.