Tayfun Korkut and Fredi Bobic would have liked to have talked about other issues, but their press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to SC Freiburg (15:30 CET) revolved around personnel issues. Whilst Maximilian Mittelstädt and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp have been able to rejoin team training after Covid-19 infections, goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow has tested positive. “We need to wait and see, not only with Alex but with all positions. That said, I feel togetherness from the lads on all levels and I feel as though we’ll get through this situation together,” said the head coach, commenting on the flexibility and adaptability of his squad, and encouraged the team to “deal with the absences as a group.” The first hour of the match against Leipzig gave Bobic cause for encouragement: “We need to keep the right attitude and the calmness to say that we need to roll up our sleeves and get down to work, because at some point things will change. On Sunday, the lads showed that we can hold our own despite absences, if – and only if – everything comes together over the full 90 minutes.” herthabsc.com has all the latest from the head coach and sporting director.
Fredi Bobic and Tayfun Korkut on...
... the challenge awaiting the side on Saturday:
Tayfun Korkut: We haven’t just focussed all our efforts on dealing with Freiburg’s strength in the air, we’ve worked on all eventualities. We know what we’re facing up against: a team who are simply doing exceptionally well and reaping their rewards as a result. Our goal is to put in as good a performance as possible with the players we have available.
Fredi Bobic: I have a huge amount of respect for the Freiburg, both the club and the people involved there. Christian Streich and his team are doing a great job in a really tidy way. SC have managed to build a top quality team over the last few years, and they’ve been successful in developing players time and time again. That means they’ve been successful both on the pitch and in the accountants’ office, and are challenging for European football.
... the general state of the squad:
Fredi Bobic: What’s important is that we don’t sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. The Coronavirus hit us hard at the start of the year and now it’s doing the same again. It usually takes two to three weeks to deal with, that’s a fact, but we know how to deal with the situation and are trying to prepare the lads as well as possible.
Tayfun Korkut: We need to wait and see, not only with Alex but with all positions. I wish that Covid would stay away from us for a while, just so that I don’t have to keep making decisions at the last minute, but nevertheless, we’re keeping ourselves flexible so that we can react to anything. We need to take these absences on the chin.
... defensive issues in particular:
Tayfun Korkut: We have enough players and goalkeepers. I’ve been watching the guys who are there to back Alexander Schwolow up and I can definitely say that they’re all ready and raring to show themselves – they’re here for just such a situation. Dedryck Boyata has also trained well this week; he’s worked in a really focused way and I get the feeling that he’ll be ready to be an option for Saturday.
... togetherness in the Blue-Whites’ camp:
Tayfun Korkut: I don’t get the impression that we’ve been unsettled, rather the opposite: I feel togetherness from the lads on all levels and I feel as though we’ll get through this situation together. That’s absolutely crucial and it leaves you with a good feeling that we’ll get through this phase. I’m the type of person to always be looking for solutions and ways through, and we still have all possibilities open to us – we’re working on finding the right ones.
Fredi Bobic: Attitude is a good word: We need to keep the right attitude and the calmness to say that we need to roll up our sleeves and get down to work, because at some point things will change. The thing that annoyed me after the Leipzig game was that the lads weren’t rewarded for their performance, letting their heads drop after the penalty and red card. Up to that point, we had our opponents right where we wanted them On Sunday, the lads showed that we can hold our own despite absences, if – and only if – everything comes together over the full 90 minutes.