After topping fellow title-aspirants RB Leipzig 3-2 on Saturday, newly-acquired Bayer 04 Leverkusen attacker Jonas Hofmann insisted that his new team had made an important statement. Hofmann's trainer, on the other hand, kept matters a little more modest.
"It was clear in advance that whoever won this game - and that was us - would make a statement. And that's what it is now in my opinion," Hofmann told the Sky mics, "We know that we have high quality in the squad and very good individual players. You can notice the positive energy in the squad - that everyone is willing to do their job individually. That's what this team concept is formed from. We started that in camp and continued it afterwards."
Asked to respond to Hofmann's proclamation at his post-match-presser, B04 head-coach Xabi Alonso dryly labelled his new player's words "a statement for next week". Leverkusen travel to face Hofmann's ex-club Gladbach in their forthcoming fixture. The two teams are considered NRW rivals, though not necessarily the fiercest in the region.
"We did have to duffer a bit today," Alonso continued, "but that's normal against a team like Leipzig. We have ambitions, but we can't be dumb and must respect every game. We must always prepare well. Then we can have a chance at the end."