Bundesliga football is finally back for Hertha BSC! 23 days after Pál Dárdai’s side drew to Borussia Mönchengladbach in their last match, Hertha are back in action against 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Monday evening at the OPEL ARENA (18:00 CEST). Following numerous virtual sessions during the 14-day quarantine as well as three training sessions back at Schenckendorffplatz, full focus is now on the battle to stay up. “We completed training as planned on Saturday. I’m happy with how we’re looking and the boys are in good shape. Now we have to make sure we play intelligently and with a clear head. We almost have all the boys match fit and I have a good idea of my starting XI along with a plan B,” explained Dárdai in Sunday’s pre-match press conference. The Hungarian summed up his thoughts on the remainder of the season in two blocks. “We’ve currently played three fewer games than our rivals. If we can get at least four points from these three games, then we won’t be in a relegation spot any longer. After that, we just have to see how many points we’ll need from our final three games. Every game is a final for us now,” stressed Hertha’s coach.
Respect for Mainz 05 and a warm welcome back from the fans
Hertha’s fans demonstrated their support for Dárdai and the players in the form of a new banner at the training ground. “It’s a clear message of support and the fans have given us a warm welcome back. The players have been reinvigorated by it and I thought it was great. I hope that we will repay the trust the fans have put in us over the coming weeks. It shows how close everyone here is. Everyone is pulling in the same direction and we’re all desperate to stay up,” praised Arne Friedrich. Hertha’s sporting director also had positive words about Monday evening’s opponents: “We have a lot of respect for Mainz on their performances and results in recent weeks. They have risen out of the relegation zone and are a very unpleasant team to play against.” The 41-year-old continued: “We’re something of an unknown quality at this point. It’s tough for anyone to assess us in this moment. We don’t care who we have to play; our priority is staying in the Bundesliga and to achieve that we have to win games. We will do that, I am convinced of it!”