When the boys train at Schenckendorffplatz, it is inevitable that their eyes will turn to the Olympiastadion itself. At the beginning of the week’s training, it wouldn’t be surprising for images of playing just there to run through the minds of a Hertha player here or there. “Obviously, there is a lot of anticipation for the game with the fans behind us right over there. We want to work hard to reinforce the last few home results against FSV Mainz,” confessed Maximilian Mittelstädt. On Tuesday, preparation began for the clash with the Zerofivers (11.03.23, 15:30 CET).
Kempf & Boëtius absent – Kanga back
The focus of the roughly 60 minute-long session was on rondos and passing drills after a series of extensive warm-up and stretching exercises.Alongside Marc Kempf (cold), Jean-Paul Boëtius also missed the session. Hertha’s number 10 picked up a shoulder injury on Monday for those who didn’t start the game at the weekend and will miss the next week of training and games. Sandro Schwarz was able to welcome a player back onto the training pitch in the shape of Wilfried Kanga, who has been working with his teammates since Monday. “Willy already took part in a bit of final training on Saturday and starts the week back with us,” reported a pleased Sandro Schwarz.
The team were not pleased with the performance in Leverkusen – the result adds an extra incentive to do better in front of their own fans. “For us, it is about critically analysing the last game, pointing out the errors and then improving of these against Mainz,” underlined the 44-year-old. “The good news is that we showed not all too long ago that we can do that – namely in the last two or three weeks. So we have to throw away the anchor and implement our way of playing once again 100% on Saturday!”
Full focus on in-form Mainz
In order to achieve this, Schwarz’s men will be grafting on the training pitch every day until Saturday. In these further sessions, held behind closed doors, Hertha will prepare for the challenge of facing an in-form Mainz. “Mainz find themselves in a very good patch, have won four games in a row and are very varied in their build-up. The team play forward very simply, very directly and give off a certain force. We have to, and will, prepare for that. We will pack all this knowledge into our training so that we can implement this in the game,” said Schwarz, outlining the plan against his, and Suat Serdar’s, former employers.
If this is a success then what could follow is a third home win in a row. This would guarantee that the players walk onto the training pitch feeling good about themselves in any case, even if they have to have a bit of patience before the next home game against Leipzig comes around (08.04.23, 18:30 CEST).