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“We need to bring everything together on the pitch”

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Sandro Schwarz has already managed 27 games as head coach of the Old Lady, but the game against RasenBallsport Leipzig this coming Saturday (08.04.23, 18:30 CEST) will be the first time the 44-year-old has managed a Saturday evening game at the Olympiastadion. Accordingly, the anticipation ahead of the game is high. “It is a good feeling to play at home again with 50,000 supporters behind us. Our expectations for ourselves are to focus on ourselves, to concentrate on the essentials, to show as much desire as possible and to give everything in order to give us the chance of picking up a positive result,” explained the coach, before underlining once again. “We need to bring everything together on the pitch – tactics, game intelligence and heart!” herthabsc.com has summarised what Schwarz and sporting director Benjamin Weber had to say on…

… RB Leipzig:

Schwarz: I obviously watched Leipzig’s game in the DFB-Pokal. They were very aggressive, especially in the first half, had lots of good interceptions, put in an impressive performance and showed their brilliant individual quality on the pitch. The fact they played with a back-three was not a complete surprise to us. Their gegenpressing and the way that they win the ball back in the middle of the pitch are hallmarks of their style of play. This is what we have to prepare for. It will also be important to play straightforwardly. If we make mistakes in first phase possession, they will ruthlessly punish it.     

… Hertha’s approach:

Schwarz: The way we played against Freiburg is the basis for how we also need to play on Saturday. It is a good feeling to play at home again with 50,000 supporters behind us. Our expectations for ourselves are to focus on ourselves, to concentrate on the essentials, to show as much desire as possible and to give everything in order to give us the chance of picking up a positive result. Looking at the game earlier in the season, we need this attitude again of dealing with errors and always having the belief that we can come back from setbacks. As the previous game with Leipzig showed, we will also get chances when we defend tightly and actively. We need to use this to pull the game our way against such a top opponent. This decisiveness is needed in every phase of the game. We need to bring everything together on the pitch – tactics, game intelligence and heart!

… the starting formation:

Schwarz: During the first half of the season, we put in a lot of convincing performances playing 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, but then we didn’t start well after the winter break and in our analysis after the Frankfurt game we arrived at the realisation that two additional legs in midfield would be good for us. The aim was to be more compact, especially when defending, to secure the space in behind, but also to develop more of a box threat upfront and with two attackers to have more people in dangerous areas. The wing-backs also provide us with additional movement. Based on the data and our perception of the games we made this decision. The boys have also given us feedback that they feel completely comfortable with it. The formation giving us more protection is one thing, but the other, most decisive thing is implementing it with the right intensity, being as prepared as possible, supporting one another and playing straightforwardly.

… his impression of the team:

Weber: I see a team that is completely focussed and wants to bring the same desire onto the pitch that was shown in Freiburg. This makes us all optimistic. We will go into these remaining eight games together and with full concentration.

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“We need to bring everything together on the pitch”

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