Harsewinkel replaced Berlin, the Klosterpforte hotel replaced the club offices and the conference room looked very different as the press conference got underway on Friday afternoon ahead of Hertha’s trip to Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday (15:30 CEST). Whilst the training camp in the west of Germany was reaching its closing stages, the focus on Saturday’s task against the Werkself did not wane. “I’m completely sure that we’ll perform well and play our part in Leverkusen. We’re going into the game with the view of taking something back to Berlin after full time,” said head coach Felix Magath, who took nothing but positives away from the training camp in Harsewinkel. “The team’s willingness to perform is fantastic. Every session we put the lads through was completed with the highest intensity. All the players were happy too, and the atmosphere both off and on the pitch is very good,” Magath added. All the latest from the 68-year-old and director of sport Fredi Bobic is here on herthabsc.com.
Felix Magath and Fredi Bobic on…
… the training camp:
Felix Magath: I’m over the moon with the last few days we’ve had here. Our time here has brought us closer together as a group, which was the point of the training camp. The sessions have all been very intensive, but we have a good, fit squad with lots of morale and will to win. The team’s willingness to perform is fantastic. Every session we put the lads through was completed with the highest intensity. All the players were happy too, and the atmosphere both off and on the pitch is very good.
Fredi Bobic: My work has continued around the squad here – I haven’t had a week of rest and relaxation, I’ve been doing my job. I went to my meetings as normal, just online instead. I’m really happy to have been here with the team. The spirit I’ve seen here gives me positive feelings for the next few weeks. It’s exactly what we’ve needed up to this point. I’m also very happy that we’ve been able to get through this training camp in the way we have.
… the performance in training sessions:
Felix Magath: Without exception, every single player has showed top commitment every day and gave their all from the start to end of every session. I thought I might have to intervene a lot more and give the players reminders about commitment, but the week was pretty much problem-free – I’ve never experienced a training camp like it. If we go into last few games with this attitude, we’ll get the points we need to stay up.
… growing in self-confidence:
Fredi Bobic: The lads have taken the momentum from the Hoffenheim win into this week. We hope that has a positive effect on our final games of this season. We need to reward our efforts with points: every game for us is a final now, and we have to go into every game with the belief that we can get the points out of it.
… Saturday’s opponents:
Felix Magath: Bayer 04 Leverkusen are a top team in this division and are one of the only teams to cause FC Bayern real problems. Unfortunately for them, they have one or two players missing through injury and can’t face us with their best team. That gives us a bit of hope.
… Niklas Stark’s contract siuation:
Fredi Bobic: We’ve had several discussions behind the scenes over the course of this year. It is now clear that Niklas wants a change at the end of the season and will not extend his contract here at Hertha BSC. Nevertheless, he will continue to give his all for our club until the very last day here – he’s a top professional. Decisions like these are currently much more to do with financial issues than sporting ones.