The final home game of the 2021/22 Bundesliga season is upon us: Saturday evening sees 1. FSV Mainz 05 travel to the capital (18:30 CEST). Ahead of the game, matchday 33 of 34 this season, Hertha could still theoretically finish the campaign in any one of six different positions in the league table, but there is only one priority: finish outside of the relegation zone! Felix Magath’s side have survival in their own hands: the Blue-Whites have the opportunity to confirm their safety with a win against the Zerofivers. “There are no other themes to the game, we just need the points,” said a determined Felix Magath. One thing which is motivating the head coach above all others is the fact that the game will take place in front of a near-sold-out Olympiastadion. “It’s pure joy to play in front of so many people – you get goosebumps! We’ve been focussed for the whole week. We need another 90 minutes of passion and fight,” said the 68-year-old. Fredi Bobic added: “The only thing that matters is this game and staying in the league. Around 70,000 fans will be there, and we have to achieve the goal we’ve set so that we can hopefully celebrate together.” As ever, herthabsc.com has all the latest from both our head coach and sporting director.
Felix Magath and Fredi Bobic on...
... pressure in the relegation battle:
Felix Magath: One thing is often misunderstood: We’re talking about real people, who have real feelings. I was told that nothing could change; that we were already down, and the players were told the same thing. That built up an atmosphere of defeat which the players lived in – you can’t blame them for not being able to get back on track easily. They had a real mental block, so I had to let them know that we still needed to pick up points. Now, we have one more home game – it’s our last chance to make things up a bit. We know that this season hasn’t gone well or according to plan, but we need another 90 minutes of passion and fight, and then we can say goodbye to the fans.
... the mood following the Bielefeld game:
Felix Magath: The team was extremely disappointed – it felt like we had lost the game. We wanted to finish the job we started with our last few games. It’s always a tough situation when you concede a late goal, but we’ve put it behind us and now I’m convinced that we’re prepared for our next challenge
... Mainz 05’s away record:
Felix Magath: I don’t know the reasons for their away form [Mainz are 17th of 18 on away form], and I’m not really interested in knowing them. The only thing I can do is analyse how they play, and that has meant I see them as one of the strongest side’s we will have faced since I’ve been here. I like the way they play, and I’m sure they’re not in the top half of the table by accident, even if the Bayern game came at the end of a poor run of form.
... the full-back situation, and the rest of the squad:
Felix Magath: It would be fantastic if Marvin Plattenhardt was able to play; our medical team is working flat out to make that happen, but at the moment it’s not yet certain. As to who could replace him: my view is that Maxi Mittelstädt is a more attacking layer, which is why we played Fredrik Bjørkan there last time out. We have a top professional on the other side in Peter Pekarík, who loves this club and is always focused and concentrated. He knows his tasks and always tries to fulfil them as best he can. Peter has had a large hand in how we’ve developed. We’ll also have to see how Marco Richter is. It could be the case that he isn’t up to full strength, so it would make sense to play someone else there if we had to.
... the stadium and focusing on the job at hand:
Fredi Bobic: The only thing that matters is this game and staying in the league. Around 70,000 fans will be there – it’s going to be fantastic, but we have to stay relaxed and do our job. We need to achieve the goal we’ve set so that we can hopefully celebrate together.
Felix Magath: It’s pure joy to play in front of so many people – you get goosebumps! We’ve been focussed for the whole week. There are no other themes to the game, we just need the points.