“We can beat any team!”

 Manuel Friedrich (L) played his 17th game of the season against DortmundManuel Friedrich and Bayer Leverkusen had to settle for a point in Dortmund. Talking to bundesliga.de, the defender talks about a new signing and a possible title.

bundesliga.de: Just a point in Dortmund, despite several good chances in the second half. Are you annoyed about the two points dropped?

Manuel Friedrich: In any case we are annoyed that we only played well after the break. Only then we showed what we had intended to do from the start, and dominated the match. The equaliser was more than deserved. And Dortmund couldn’t have complained about another goal. So it’s indeed a case of two points dropped, and we’re disappointed.

bundesliga.de: Is converting the chances the biggest problem?

Friedrich: Of course, we had clear-cut chances and we have room for improvement there. But we were also unlucky in Dortmund. There will always be such days. I think we could have played another 30 minutes without finding the back of the net.

bundesliga.de: Bayer need to start winning games against Stuttgart, Hoffenheim and Hamburg if they want to be involved in the title race…

Friedrich: We want to win every game! No matter when and against which team. We want to stay in the title race and that means that you have to go on a winning run at some point. It surely wouldn’t be bad to start that against Stuttgart.

bundesliga.de: Are Bayer Leverkusen still underestimated?

Friedrich: We know that we can compete at the top and that’s the only thing that matters. In hindsight you could say that we unnecessarily dropped five or six points in the first half of the season, and where would we be if we had picked them up? The team agrees what we want. That’s the only important thing.

bundesliga.de: So it’s allowed to talk about the title?

Friedrich: The target for the season was to get into Europe. That’s the basic target. If we can do even better, then fine! It’s definitely possible. We can beat any team!

bundesliga.de: And Bayer have strengthened in the transfer market. How do you rate Toni Kroos?

Friedrich: Toni is a good lad, even though he will need a bit more time after his injury. He will help us, and Bayer will surely be the right club for him. Talents can develop well here, we have a very young team and Toni Kroos fits in ideally.

Interview: Dietmar Nolte / Translation: Christof Greiner