Hofmann: “We lacked the final punch”
Jonas Hofmann spoke in an interview and analysed his team’s performance in the match against Union Berlin (1-0), explaining the defeat before looking ahead to the final period of the season.
Jonas, what do you make of your performance as a team against Union Berlin?
Hofmann: “We were the better team in the first half, even though we didn’t have any clear-cut scoring chances. Still, I thought we were in control of the game and had most of the action. We took two or three shots from distance, but they weren’t very dangerous. After the break, there was a period of about 20 minutes where we were too passive and didn’t play as well.
Do you have an explanation for this period?
Hofmann: The build-up play in our own half was not as good as in the first half. We often lost the ball too easily, so the game switched in favour of Union. For the goal we conceded, we didn’t close down the man with the ball enough, so that he was able to cross without much pressure.
In the final period, you then tried everything again…
Hofmann: We really wanted to equalise, so played a lot of crosses and hit long balls. We linked up quite well on occasion, but going forward we lacked determination and penetration.
What do you base that on?
Hofmann: I think we didn’t push up enough, so weren’t effective in their box. Marcus Thuram was often alone there, and we were lacking the final pass or last couple of passes. We have to give credit to Union Berlin as well, however, for how solid they were in defence. It was difficult to get through.
The changes the coach made obviously helped you in the game…
Hofmann: Definitely. It’s important for the team that the players who come off the bench can immediately have an impact and change something. We had one or two more crosses and Nathan Ngoumou got behind their back line a few times because of his pace, but then we lacked the final punch to score.
Jonas Omlin said in an interview that it was a “typical game from Union”. Do you think the same?
Hofmann: Yes, it was absolutely a typical game from them. They have often won 1-0 or 2-1 this season, because they are effective in that one moment and then drop back when they are leading. They then play a lot of long balls and are very compact. That’s their game and they play it ruthlessly, which is why they are very successful. For our part, we didn’t create enough to score a goal.
There are five Bundesliga games left before the end of the season and summer break. What are your aims as a team for the home stretch of the season?
Hofmann: Those who know me know that I would love to win five times. Our focus now turns to the next game and picking up points there. We want to perform well in the remaining games and get as many points as possible. Nobody wants to just let the season end like this, and we all want to go into the summer break with a good feeling. In my opinion, that always has some impact on the coming season.