The first leg is behind us. Now, the focus of everyone at Hertha BSC is on the second leg of the relegation play-off in Hamburg on Monday night (20:30 CEST). Both Felix Magath and Fredi Bobic made the fact that the Blue-Whites were still very much fighting for survival and a comeback in Hamburg very clear in their press conference on Sunday morning. “We have a good chance to turn the tie around. The atmosphere around the place is very much directed solely towards the game, and I feel like something has improved within the squad once again. We are ready,” said head coach Felix Magath. Fredi Bobic reflected the 68-year-old’s remarks: “All the cards are on the table. This game is the only game left; it’s a final for us, which we have to win! I’m sure the lads will go into the game with a bit of fight and anger,” said Hertha’s director of sport. All the latest from the pre-match presser is here at herthabsc.com.
Felix Magath and Fredi Bobic on...
... lessons learned from the first leg:
Felix Magath: We didn't have the right compactness, like we did in our previous games, in the first leg. Niklas Stark, for example, was not at the peak of his powers – he wasn’t able to close down the gaps which Santi Ascacíbar’s absence left open. I'm sure we'll be able to revisit the level of performance we gave against Dortmund and control this game more than we did in the first leg, though.
... the situation ahead of the second leg:
Felix Magath: We've had many opportunities to secure safety over the last few weeks, but we’ve always been dealt a blow late on in each game. Up until now, we've always been able to fight back after a disappointment. I'm sure that we'll be able to do the same after the first leg. I’m convinced we’ll be able to put the setback of the first leg behind us – it’s not a massive task; clubs have made bigger comebacks in competitions before. We still have our chances.
Fredi Bobic: All the cards are on the table. This game is the only game left; it’s a final for us, which we have to win! I’m sure the lads will go into the game with a bit of fight and anger. We’ve had so many setbacks, but have always fought back from them, and that’s what this is all about. We need intensity and passion on that pitch.
... the club’s sporting outlook:
Felix Magath: We have to take the situation how it is. At the moment, we’re out of it, and we have a situation where we can only win tomorrow. The pressure is on HSV, though, and we have a good chance to turn the tie around. The atmosphere around the place is very much directed solely towards the game, and I feel like something has improved within the squad once again. We are ready!
Fredi Bobic: This week definitely won't be boring, but what week has been this season? Monday is a decisive day for the club, it’s so important. We'll only talk about what might happen afterwards from Tuesday. It's an absolutely crucial week for Hertha BSC.
... the squad:
Felix Magath: Marco Richter and Stevan Jovetić are both fit and ready to play. Santi Ascacíbar is also back - we missed his mentality on Thursday night. He runs hard and makes thing difficult for opponents with his tackling. Santi will play a big part on Monday, as will Prince Boateng – he’s a true big-game player, who knows how to win them. Prince will deal with getting things right in the attack. We have more quality available to us and we’ll do better in the game as a result.