Reis took the harsh welcome-back in stride, also taking care to emphasize that his own team still had plenty of room for improvement.
Despite the fact that Reis led Bochum back to the top flight for the first time in 11 years and did a widely respected job keeping the club in the top-flight last season, the notoriously passionate VfL ultras didn’t greet their former gaffer with a great deal of respect. A banner calling Reis a “dishonorable bastard” was unfurled shortly before kickoff.
“I have no comment on that,” Reis responded when asked by Sky Germany after the win if the streamer had any effect on him, “Even if it’s difficult to fathom, one still maintains respect for an employer for whom one worked for over three years. Everything is fine. We got the three points today. We can talk about the game.”
Reis’ actual assessment of the game wasn’t the rosiest. Leading Schalke to their third win under his aegis (and fourth overall of the season) was certainly pleasant, but came thanks to some well-timed luck and a lot of deficiencies. This, at least, was how Reis saw it.
“I was definitely dissatisfied with the first-half,” Reis noted, “VfL did it better. They contested the duels better and created more chances. We only had one or two counter situations that we didn’t use well. You have to say that the first half went to them.”
“We were also a bit lucky to take a 1-0 lead into the dressing room,” Reis continued when referencing VfL keeper Manuel Riemann’s slapstick own-goal in the 45th, “We have two make sure that we’re not satisfied with this. The win today was brutally important, but there are important steps left to be taken.”
Having taken out their “kleines Revierderby” opponents this weekend, Schalke must now prepare to face their big “Ruhr Rivals” in next Saturday evening’s “Top Spiel”. Schalke prepare to welcome arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund – winners of ten straight consecutive competitive matches – to the Veltins Arena next week.
“Of course, we take this with a smile,” Reis concluded, “But we didn’t get up to 30 points today either. There’s an explosive derby ahead.”