The Hertha players returned to Schenckendorffplatz on Friday after a two-week quarantine for their first training session. The club’s supporters left them a banner on the training ground ahead of the push for survival, which read ‘Kämpfen und siegen – für Hertha! (Fight and win for Hertha!)’. “Being back on the pitch is a really nice feeling and is something that every footballer needs. The lads have worked really hard during the quarantine. We want a top-fit team on Monday that is capable of performing well in Mainz,” stressed Pál Dárdai.
[>]Being back on the pitch is a really nice feeling and is something that every footballer needs. The lads have worked really hard during the quarantine. We want a top-fit team on Monday that is capable of performing well in Mainz.[<]
The captain is back
The joy on the faces of all the players was clear to see as they returned to training with a ball at their feet. “This period wasn’t easy, but we did our jobs professionally for two weeks. The coaching team, Henrik Kuchno and Hendrik Vieth have done some great work. We also helped to motivate each other during this time. Now we can do what we enjoy the most: play football, train and see the other lads,” said Sami Khedira. Another reason to be happy was the return of captain Dedryck Boyata, who trained with the team to provide the coach with a welcome boost ahead of the final few games.
The coaching team want to be clever about things going into the extremely busy May that awaits the Old Lady. “You can never truly replicate the physical demands of a training session or a game, but we did enough running, sprinting and strength training at home,” revealed Sami Khedira. Eduard Löwen is still training individually on the pitch after his muscular problems, while Marvin Plattenhardt and Dodi Lukébakio did not yet take part. The duo underwent a check-up, which determined that their workload should only be slowly increased so that they can play again this season. “This is a new situation for us all. We now need to use the scientific data and a little bit of nous to work out the right workload for each player,” stated Dárdai, who will definitely be without Luca Netz (rehabilitation after broken metatarsal) and Rune Jarstein (recovering from Covid-19) for the rest of the campaign.
Step by step
Caution was the key word in training on Friday. As the session went on, the coaches slowly stepped up the intensity and tempo, quickly getting balls involved. After starting off with some stretches and jogging, various tactics were worked on before the morning finished with an 11-a-side game. “We are doing everything we can with the ball during this short time. We need at least four points from the rearranged fixtures to get out of the relegation zone. Everything is in our hands, which is okay,” said a confident Dárdai. The Hertha players will have a couple more sessions to prepare for Monday’s game at Mainz (3/5, 18:00 CEST).
The restart in Mainz should provide Hertha with a real push for the final few weeks of the season and the players need to do what the fans have asked of them. “We need to approach the game positively, work hard and show the supporters that we will give our all to survive. We are playing against direct rivals in the table and these games will be decisive. We have to win,” demanded Khedira. Fight together, win together – for Hertha BSC!