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Xabi Alonso explains decision to put Wirtz on the bench

By Rune Gjerulff   @runegjerulff

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso explained his decision to start Florian Wirtz on the bench against Wolfsburg.
Xabi Alonso
Xabi AlonsoBayer 04 Leverkusen
Having started six of Bayer Leverkusen's seven Bundesliga games this season, head coach Xabi Alonso made two changes to the side that beat Wolfsburg 2-1 today, with Josip Stanisic and Amine Adli coming in at the expense of Odilon Kossounou and Florian Wirtz.

Speaking after the game, Xabi Alonso praised Wirtz for the impact he made after being brought on in the 60th minute, and said that rotating his squad is a necessity with Leverkusen playing in three competitions.

"Flo had a very, very big impact on our game today," said Xabi Alonso.

"We controlled it better and he has his understanding with 'Pala', Granit [Xhaka] and Jonas [Hofmann]. He plays the right passes to 'Boni'.

"We have three weeks with multiple games in a row now. It's almost impossible to play with the same team every time."

One of the players who could get minutes in the coming weeks is Patrik Schick, who was an unused substitute after returning to the Bayer Leverkusen squad following months on the sidelines.

"The game was very close and very intense," said Xabi Alonso, explaining why he didn't play Schick.

"When it comes to a first game after seven months, it would be better to have more control of the game, but we hope he gets his chance in the next game."

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