As Hertha BSC’s training camp in Leogang, Austria, comes to an end, head coach Pál Dárdai spoke to the media after the friendly win over Gaziantep. After seven days, eight sessions, several discussions and analyses, team building measures and three friendlies, the head coach reflected on an intense week and looked ahead to the start of the competitive fixtures. herthabsc.de has summarised the most important quotes.
…on the last friendly against Gaziantep: I told the team that they should expect an unpleasant opposition. Gaziantep brought some toughness, but the team adapted well and protected themselves collectively. That’s part of football. We were positive from the start and had some good moments, where we were brave and played out from the back rather than just clearing it. That’s the way we want to play in the new season. The 3-0 scoreline was deserved, but of course there are still things that we have to do better. A few misplaced passes crept in. To stop the game early was the right decision; health comes before anything else.
… the pre-season period: It’s come to an end. We’ve got enough upon which we can continue building. Ahead of the final friendly, I praised all the players; they’ve done really well. There was also a compliment to the young players, who were really good against Al-Hilal. The intensity of the running, our play and our tactics – everything that we set out to do, we have achieved. The way we played in the friendlies is the way we want to play in Meppen and then the week after in Cologne.
[>]I praised all the players; they’ve done really well The intensity of the running, our play and our tactics – everything that we set out to do, we have achieved[<]
… the Blue and White game: We want our own Hertha BSC style of play, and not to have to change based on the opposition. A style that we can have success with. We have the right players in the squad to do that and we’ve been working on it together over the past few months. We’ve been together now for around half a year and some of the players have known for a little longer what we’re looking for. If we manage to enforce our own style, our own stamp, then we’ll look a lot better compared to last season.
… the upcoming days: Next week, we want to get into the rhythm and have the workload of a normal Bundesliga week. We’re also working on our pressing off the ball and our game when in possession. Working on situations in front of goal in training has paid off; we’ve scored some nice goals in our friendlies. We have to continue being ambitious and develop a real hunger for goals. On Tuesday, the boys will return home, and on Wendesday we begin to get into Bundesliga rhythm.
[>]Working on situations in front of goal in training has paid off; we’ve scored some nice goals in our friendlies. We have to continue being ambitious and develop a real hunger for goals.[<]
… tactical orientation: Against Gaziantep, Stevan Jovetić played as a false nine, but there’ll be games where we play with two central midfielders, and others where we play with one central midfielder and one attacking midfielder. We’re flexible and can change during a game when in possession. That will make it more difficult for opposition who can’t press us so well.
… the flanks: Dodi Lukébakio is doing a really good job there at the moment. I hope it’s helped him that we’ve been drilling things into him. He has to show something because the club has invested a lot into him. Dodi has the quality, he just needs to produce it consistently. He can offer us something if he works hard every day, but he hasn’t been promised anything. If he plays the way he did during the training camp, he’ll get his appearances. Javairô Dilrosun is doing well in a system with a back four, he’s fast, but he has to be braver and get more involved in the 30 metres from the opposition goal.
… Dedryck Boyata: He had some light muscle problems so we withdrew him a little. I hope we’ll be able to take him to Meppen and get him playing for a half or 30 minutes. We might even have to play another preparation game before we play Köln to give those who haven’t played so much some match practice. We need Dedryck, but he needs his own body first.
… other observations: I’m very pleased with Suat Serder; his willingness to run, the way he plays, and what he does on the ball is very good. Overall, I think we’re on a good level. The two training camps have been effective, we’ve done well and everything has worked out. We’ve also improved when it comes to set pieces and practised well. Now we have to be able to score from a corner when under the pressure that comes in a Bundesliga game.
[>]We’ve also improved when it comes to set pieces and practised well. Now we have to be able to score from a corner when under the pressure that comes in a Bundesliga game.[<]