By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Rolfes backs Schick to step up in Boniface's absence

Simon Rolfes has put his faith in Patrik Schick to fill the void left by Victor Boniface in the coming weeks.
Bayer Leverkusen will be without three key players in the coming weeks, as Edmond Tapsoba, Odilon Kossounou and Victor Boniface have all been called up for the Africa Cup of Nations.

In Boniface's absence, Patrik Schick will come in up front and the club's managing director of sport, Simon Rolfes, is confident that the Czech international will do well after fighting his way back from a lengthy injury lay-off.

"Patrik is absolutely ready for the coming weeks," Rolfes emphasized in an interview with Kicker.

"Just before Christmas he played several games in quick succession and started against Molde and Bochum. He is preparing well. We have ten days of training and a friendly (against FC Venice on Sunday). He will use this time and be able to complete the upcoming schedule.

"Patrik has shown again recently that he is one of the top strikers in the Bundesliga. He will become even more consistent in the near future."

Comparing Boniface and Schick as striker types, Rolfes said:

"Both are powerful goal scorers who can also develop and actively participate in our attacking game.

Because of their physical attributes, they naturally play differently. 'Boni' is more powerful and dribbles more, while Patrik has a very high finishing quality in the box and combines a bit more. We're very happy with both of them."

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