You were able to celebrate your first appearance of the season on matchday 8 against Bayer Leverkusen with a goal. Tell us about it…
Steven Zuber: Obviously it was great to score that goal. For me it was recognition of the fact that I had to wait for my chance, the hard work in training to get a place in the side. To then score straight away was fantastic. I gave everything to be in the squad and then make the team. The reflects my character that I never give up.
You also scored against Bayern, but this time it was an own goal. How quickly were you able to get over that?
Zuber: It was out of my mind after just a minute. It has to be that way, otherwise you will make other mistakes. In that particular situation I had to slide in with a lot of risk and then it went a bit wrong.
Under Julian Nagelsmann you are playing in a much more defensive role than ever before in your career. What’s your take in the new role?
Zuber: I see the new position as an opportunity to keep developing myself even further, especially defensively. Never before have I had to do so much work at the back. I think I am improving on this every day, both on the training pitch and outside of it. We are doing a lot of video analysis for the role because it involves finding new solutions. During a game, I now have a lot more space ahead of me, which I am enjoying a lot.
What are the tactical demands of the position?
Zuber: The movements you have to make are completely different. As an attacker the runs you make a often in shorter burst. Now these runs are a lot longer when I look to break forward. The takes a lot out of you, but I think it also suits my game. The new position also means that I don’t have to take on three players when I get the ball (laughs).
You welcome bottom placed Hamburger SV to Sinsheim on Saturday. The game will not be easy though.
Zuber: We know about Hamburg’s situation from last year, which also wasn’t great. They will, however, give everything they’ve got, which is why we are fully prepared going into the game. Still, we will be in a good position to get three points and that is our main aim.
The game comes after a two week break. Do you think the international break was a blessing or a curse?
Zuber: I haven’t thought about it at all. It is what it is. We have trained really well, working hard on both our strengths and our weaknesses. We did this even without all the players there. Obviously it was slightly disappointing that we couldn’t carry on the momentum after the game against Bayern. We had been on a great run and want to draw on that going forward.