Hofmann: “We want to reward our fans with a win”
In an interview, Jonas Hofmann talks about the opening day defeat to Borussia Dortmund, the upcoming home game against Union Berlin and his role on the pitch.
Jonas, you started the season with a 3-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund. How does that feel?
Hofmann: Not that great, but we don’t need to bury our heads in the sand. It was a tough match to start with. We’re staying positive and now want to win our first game this season against Union Berlin on Saturday in order to get the season back on track.
A big topic on the opening weekend was the return of fans to the stadium, even if away fans are not allowed in yet. How did you experience it?
Hofmann: If you think back on the game, it was really nice to hear voices in the stadium again. It felt good, even if it was Dortmund fans. There were 300 fans in attendance for our DFB-Pokal game against Oberneuland, and the atmosphere they created was enough to give us goosebumps. It was emotional to finally have them cheering us on again. On Saturday, we will have nearly 10,000 fans cheering for us and we want to reward them with a win.
Last season, you struggled a bit away against Union. You recorded a clear win in this fixture at home…
Hofmann: The two fixtures against Union were two completely different games. In our first meeting, we were unable to cope with their aggressiveness and lost 2-0. We did better in the second meeting, which we deservedly won 4-1. We want to take a similar approach to Saturday and take all three points at home.
Are you feeling the pressure after having lost in Dortmund on opening weekend?
Hofmann: At first glance, it doesn’t look good to be second last in the table after the first matchday, but you have to put that behind you. We’ve only played one game. Of course we would have liked to have won, but we cannot make the defeat out to be more than it was. We already have the feeling that we should win the next game in order to get back on track. It’s always helpful to have a positive mindset during the first weeks of a new season. We didn’t manage to do so during the first game, but that’s not completely derailed us.
In Dortmund, you played the first half with a back-three before switching to a back-four later in the game. Is that a big adjustment for you as a player?
Hofmann: I think that we now know how to play several formations. Every player has memorized them and knows what to do if they’re asked to play a different position. However, sometimes it is the case that you have to react to what your opponents do during the game, or any tactical changes they make. Our head coach, Marco Rose, drilled us on this last season. We’re getting better and better at it all the time.
You tend to play at several different positions and move a lot on the pitch. What’s the intention behind that?
Hofmann: I think it’s down to clever tactics. We want to be able to change our tactics quickly and everyone knows what they need to do. I think being able to play in several positions is one of my strengths. It’s also beneficial for the coach, if he has a player that is so versatile. But, I think it’s also good when I get to play different positions because I always have something else to do then. When I’m moving around on the pitch, instinct takes over and I’m not really thinking about it. Of course, we still have to keep our shape and I keep an eye on my teammates to see which runs make the most sense for me.