In the last ten weeks there have been a lot of exciting developments in the world of football. But, obviously some things have remained the same, among these the Bundesliga table, which has remained unchanged since the middle of November. For this reason, ahead of the continuation of the competition this coming weekend, previous results do not play a deciding role. “Obviously there is a lot of anticipation after a two month break. The boys also showed this once again during the week’s training. We used our winter preparation very well,” explained Sandro Schwarz in the press conference ahead of Hertha’s first game of 2023 against VfL Bochum (21.01.23, 15:30 CET). “The match has arrived! It is now about having that extra 5% desire that is needed and having the necessary hunger so that we are as prepared as possible to push for a result,” underlined the head coach. The media’s questions at the press conference ahead of the game focussed above all on personnel and their opponents. “Bochum have found the strengths once again that made them stand out in the first year after promotion. Bochum as a team feed off a competitive approach to games,” suggested Fredi Bobic. herthabsc.com has summarised all of the important answers from Sandro Schwarz and Fredi Bobic. The two covered…
… the first game of the year in Bochum:
Sandro Schwarz: Obviously, there is a lot of anticipation after a two month break. The boys also showed this once again during the week’s training. We used our winter preparation very well. Now comes the first test of this. We can assume that there will be a heated atmosphere and a good mood in Bochum. We know how the table looks ahead of the game, but that doesn’t created any additional pressure. It is a very important game, but not the decisive game – it is just matchday 16. Much more important is that we want to verify what we’ve been building in the last few weeks. We are looking forward to it.
… the personnel situation in attack:
Fredi Bobic: The boys in attack are growing together more and more. It is really good compared with the summer, when players came back relatively late here and there. In our winter training camp it was good to see that lots of players have made clear steps forward and are now completely different players. In training, as well as in games, you can see that some things were a lot better than half a year ago. We want to use this momentum. We have three games ahead of us now. The first is initially the most important. We obviously hope to see some of this quality there, even if Dodi [Lukébakio] is missing, which others will have to make up for.
… competition for places at left-back:
Sandro Schwarz: Maxi [Mittelstädt] did well in our preparation and has confirmed the impression that he made after being subbed on in the Köln game. I’m convinced that he will deliver if he plays. With Platte [Marvin Plattenhardt], it was the case that he wasn’t able to be there at the training camp and also then had an infection. Ulle [Lukas Ullrich] was not able to be fully integrated into our training schedule. Because of that, we can’t really make a definite decision at this point.
… VfL Bochum:
Sandro Schwarz: Bochum defend actively high up the pitch and have also already had more possession of the ball in the opposition’s half under their new coach. Bochum play a purposeful, vertical game up front – they play forward very quickly especially after winning second balls. So we have to adjust to this: How do we want to exert pressure and what kind of structure do we want in midfield so that we are able to play quickly through transition? We also would like to show on the pitch what we have worked on in terms of shape and positioning. The match has arrived! Now it is about having that extra 5% desire that is needed and having the necessary hunger so that we are as prepared as possible to push for a result.
Fredi Bobic: Bochum have found the strengths once again that made them stand out in their first year after promotion. Back then, the team worked hard, was determined and found joy through a simple approach. Bochum as a team feed off a competitive approach to games. They are an eleven that are always dangerous. We know the stadium, which always has a brilliant atmosphere – beautifully small and compact, but also always a bit fiery. We are looking forward to it and hopefully we will be on it from the first minute. The club tries to make the most of the resources they have and that’s gone really well for them.