Hertha are currently in the midst of a very busy schedule. Their three games this week mean that Sandro Schwarz has to conduct six press conferences. The fifth instalment was on the agenda for the head coach on Thursday afternoon as attention now turns to Saturday’s derby against Union (28th January, 15:30 CET). The 44-year-old sees the clash as the perfect opportunity to turn things around. “It’s a huge opportunity for us to completely change the mood. A derby game is always full of emotion, regardless of the league table. We want to generate a different atmosphere within the club,” explained Schwarz. Fredi Bobic echoed these sentiments in Thursday’s presser: “We have to fully accept the situation. We can move a lot of things in a positive direction on Saturday but it’s down to us to do it. We will continue to instil this into the players right up until kick off.”
Sandro Schwarz and Fredi Bobic on…
…the game plan for the derby:
Sandro Schwarz: I think the game is coming at just the right time. It is a huge opportunity for us to completely change the mood. The mood wasn’t great after last weekend and rightly so. A derby game is always full of emotion regardless of the league table. We want to generate a different atmosphere within the club. That’s what we want to exude. Clearly we have to do a lot better than last time out.
Fredi Bobic: The most important thing right now is building the players back up again. It is the first game of the second half of the season and we have a long way to go. We have to fully accept the situation. We can move a lot of things in a positive direction on Saturday but it’s down to us to do it. We will continue to instil this into the players right up until kick off.”
Sandro Schwarz: We are coming up against a well-drilled side. But for us it’s about bringing our basic virtues onto the pitch. We respect the strength of our opponent but we will also have the necessary confidence. We don’t want to hide. We want to show what we’re made of and play with a level of intensity. That is our task.
… the state of the squad:
Sandro Schwarz: Jonjoe Kenny is out with a concussion. If we stick with a back four then Peter Pekarík and Julian Eitschberger are ready. Peky is the more experienced and defensive option whereas Eitschi is a younger and more attacking one. Agustín Rogel is suspended but he’ll also be out for the next few weeks with a knee injury. Filip Uremović did well in a difficult game against Wolfsburg. Florian Niederlechner has made a good impression in training. We will make the final call on Friday after the final session. We are assuming that he will be in the squad. He can play as a deep-lying forward or through the middle or out wide in a 4-3-3. He is a very flexible player.
…finding the right balance of confidence and self-criticism:
Fredi Bobic: No one is happy with the situation at the moment. The same goes for the team, the same goes for the coach, the same goes for me. It wasn’t a good first half of the season in terms of points. But some things weren’t bad. We can distinguish them and analyse them. We have to show the right attitude and give it our all.