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First team | May 18, 2021, 05:05 PM

Remain unbeaten!

Last week’s deepest desire for Hertha fans everywhere became reality on Saturday afternoon: The boys in blue and white secured Bundesliga safety with a game to spare on Matchday 33 thanks to a strong post-quarantine run-in to end the season. All the nerves and nail-biting, all the table calculations and all the speculating can stop. Hertha are staying in the Bundesliga! "We can all be relieved that we’ve achieved our goal as a team," said Pál Dárdai, speaking on behalf of everyone involved with the club. A handful of training sessions, a few tactical team talks and of course the season finale away to TSG Hoffenheim are still to come. After that, this gruelling season for the ‘Old Lady’ will be done and dusted.  

Blue and white relief

Unsurprisingly, the Hertha boys were in high spirits as they returned to the training pitches after two days off in the quarantine hotel. "A huge weight was taken off our shoulders last weekend," said Vladimír Darida, who was only able to support his teammates from the stands on Saturday due to a suspension. "It wasn’t easy, not being able to help the team. I’m not very good at watching and I was very nervous. Thankfully it all went well."

Photo gallery: Training ahead of the final game of the season at TSG Hoffenheim

Lessons learned for next season

The Hertha players can now relax and observe the final relegation battle developments from afar. "We had a really intense schedule after our quarantine spell, which makes it even nicer for us to go into the last game with the pressure off," said Darida. Despite the pressure being off, however, the team is going into Matchday 34 with a clear aim in mind: Remain unbeaten! "If we don’t lose in Hoffenheim we will complete a run of 9 games unbeaten. That will give us a real boost," said the coach. "Going into next season it will be ‘the nine-games-undefeated boys from the capital get things underway’. That will make the players think a little differently about the season ahead. We will see a different team playing at a different level as a result," he went on.

Team spirit and discipline

That’s all still to come. For now, the players need to focus on beating Hoffenheim. "We were well beaten by them at home, so for that reason alone we want to show that we can do better," said Darida, thinking back to Hoffenheim’s visit to the OIympiastadion in January. While the Czech international, Sami Khedira and Dodi Lukébakio are all able to play again, Maximilian Mittelstädt (concussion) and Matheus Cunha (ankle) will be left out as a precaution. Aside from these two, Krzysztof Piątek, Rune Jarstein, Mattéo Guendouzi, Luca Netz and Jhon Córdoba all remain unavailable. But if this season has taught us anything, then it’s how significant a tight-knit group is. Or, as Pál Dárdai puts it: "A season like this makes you gel as a team. In future, these lads will value team spirit and discipline even more. That’s the only way you can be successful."

by Hertha BSC