Jordan Torunarigha was giving it his all during training today. From a well-timed tackle here, to a solid block there, the defender was making himself heard. After the session was over, it was back to normal for the 24-year-old, as he joked around with his teammates. Our defender has an ability to be both focused and completely at ease, something that he has brought back into the squad since returning from injury, something he struggled with in the first half of the season. But, he has put these months behind him and is focused on what’s to come. “As a team, we want to show that our performance against Dortmund wasn’t a fluke. We want to consistently perform like that! That’s what we work for every day in training,” he said to herthabsc.com. Before the second half of the season gets underway against Köln on Sunday (09/01/2022, 15:30 CET), the defender spoke about the aims for the remaining 17 games and what could be the key this weekend.
herthabsc.com: Jordan, first of all, we want to wish you a happy New Year! Before we move on to the sporting side of things, were you able to recover a bit over the holidays?
Torunarigha: Thank you, same to you! I used the time to be with my family. It was nice to switch off again. But, since we’ve started training again, my focus has been fully on Hertha BSC, because we want to start the second half of the season off right.
herthabsc.com: You have nearly a week of training behind you, and the next game is coming up soon. What’s your impression of the team right now?
Torunarigha: Everyone is ready and really motivated. As a team, we want to show that our performance against Dortmund wasn’t a fluke. We want to consistently perform like that! That’s what we work for every day in training.
[>]I just have to do my job in every game, which I think I did to the best of my abilities against Dortmund. I want to show that to the fans in every game.[<]
herthabsc.com: After suffering a severe thigh injury, you fought your way back into the starting line-up at the end of last year. Even if you weren’t involved in all of it, how do you rate the first half of the season?
Torunarigha: Overall, it wasn’t an easy start to the season for us, or for myself with my injury. We dropped a lot of points that we shouldn’t have. However, we also improved towards toward the end and picked up some important points. We want to build on this now.
herthabsc.com: You impressed with a strong challenge and pass success rate against Dortmund. Are these the kind of games you look forward to, as a centre back?
Torunarigha: Of course I’m happy about numbers like that, but I don’t really pay much attention to those kinds of statistics. I just have to do my job in every game, which I think I did to the best of my abilities against Dortmund. I want to show that to the fans in every game.
herthabsc.com: Let’s look ahead to 2022. What goals do you have for yourself, but also for the team in the second half of the season?
Torunarigha: We’ve set ourselves the goal of picking up as many points as possible right from the start. I’m not worried at all about us not managing to do that. We want to prove what we are capable of and play to our potential. We don’t want things to be as nervy as they were at the end of last season (grins).
herthabsc.com: Your first game will be on Sunday (09/01/2022, 15:30 CET) at the Olympiastadion against 1. FC Köln. What sort of game are you expecting?
Torunarigha: It will depend on us being able to keep up. Köln cover a lot of ground in every game and run until they can’t anymore. As a team, they have also played the most crosses from open play (Ed. Note: 257). We can’t give them the space to do so, and will need to be alert in the middle of the pitch because that’s where they will be looking to play the ball to Anthony Modeste.
herthabsc.com: What will be the key to beating the Billy Goats?
Torunarigha: We need to make them play our game. If we allow Köln to find their way into the game, then it will be dangerous for us. We will need to be dominant from the start and run hard.
herthabsc.com: You’ve faced Köln twice so far in your career, with us going unbeaten and keeping a clean sheet in both these matches. Is that a good omen for Sunday?
Torunarigha: Well, would you look at that! (laughs). Of course that’s a good omen, and we can definitely continue on like that. We want to give our fans three points at home as we start the second half of the season!