Photo by ISIphotos.com
Michael Bradley knew it wouldn’t be easy.
He was fully aware that being a 21-year-old newcomer to a struggling German Bundesliga club already a few weeks into its season would not make for the easiest transition, but he is far from being discouraged by the fact that he did not play in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s most recent two matches, a pair of losses that led to the firing of the club’s manager, Jos Luhukay.
"I walked into the whole situation a little bit late. I missed the whole preseason and came into the club after three games," Bradley told SBI after Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Cuba. "The start hadn’t been great and it continued a little bit and the last straw was when we lost to Cologne. They made (the coaching) change then."
"I’m just looking forward now to getting back there and try to establish myself in the team and the league and help us turn it around," Bradley said. "It’s going to be a good challenge but it’s something I’m really looking forward to."
Bradley has started in one of three league games since joining the club via transfer from Dutch club Heerenveen, but he stands a good chance of playing upon his return now that the club is in the hands of interim head coach Christian Ziege, the club’s sporting director and the man who orchestrated the signing of Bradley.
"People are so quick sometimes to judge," Bradley said of the notion that he’s struggling in Germany. "I got there and we lost 5-1 to Hannover. I played the next week against Hertha Berlin. I have not played at Hamburg away and Cologne at home.
"Missing the preseason and missing the beginning of the season and going into a new team is not easy," Bradley said. "Wherever I went I was going to have to go in and be a little bit patient and wait for my chance to come.
"My head’s not down because now I haven’t played for two weeks," Bradley said. "I’m confident I’m a guy who can really help that team and can really be a good player in that league."
"Whether it’s this week, next week or in a month, I’m ready to show everybody what I can do."
Bradley joined Moenchengladbach on a transfer from Dutch club Heerenveen, where he scored 19 goals in all competitions last season. When he was signed by Moenchengladbach he was projected to step right in and start, so when he started against Hertha Berlin after just one week with the club that appeared to be the case, but Luhukay benched him for the next two games before being fired.
With a new interim coach in place, and some more time to acclimate himself to the club, Bradley is confident that he will return from the international break and work toward getting back on the field for Moenchengladbach.
"I just keep working every day to show the people at the club that I’m a guy who should be on the field every week," Bradley said. "Sometimes that could take a few days. Sometimes it takes a little longer. That’s my challenge now but I don’t think they would have brought me to the club if they didn’t think I could really help them. Now it’s on me to show them that I can."