Skrapid.at: Well, firstly let us wish you a happy new year and great success in your new role. We've heard that you're already accustomed to your new surroundings. Is that correct?
Fredy Bickel (FB): "That is indeed the case. So many people here have gone out of their way in order to help me settle in. I've already moved into my new apartment and feel at home there. Getting from A to B in daily life remains a bit of a challenge and I'm often needing to use the navigation system. In big cities such as Vienna getting around shouldn't be underestimated. ButI've got plenty of people around me all willing to help me get to where I need to be."
Since 01.01.2017 you've been the official Sporting Director of SK Rapid Vienna. Whats your first impression of the club and what changes are being planned?
FB: "The first impression has been positive. There are wonderful possibilities here, but at the same time there are many things currently going on that are done in the correct way. We are well equipped here and I am of the opinion that together with the coaching staff and the players we'll successfully implement some positive changes. We want to work on the daily routine, the configuration of the training center, on nutrition, the organization and conducting of match days: these points together maybe form a facet of the overall picture, but are incredibly important for myself and for Damir Canadi."
We'd like to explore the topic of change a little further. How do you view the current make up of the first team squad and what changes might we expect?
FB: "Regarding the current state of the playing squad, we have a trainer team in place to deal with that and I have supreme confidence that come the restart we'll be more than ready. The starting point is dealing with the players we currently have here and making sure they understand their roles at the club. We need to reduce numbers slightly. As a Sporting Director its obviously nice to make statement signings that make everyone around the club happy. But that’s not what needs to be happening at the moment, we need to explore and filter the current squad. Ideally come the first of February we'd have a squad of 23-25 senior players. Hence we have a lot of work ahead of us in resolving 6 or 7 squad places. Rather than just turning a player's world upside down, we need to treat everyone firstly as human. Its for this reason that its incredibly important for me to make joint decisions that are right for all parties, regardless of how much extra time this might require."