Hütter: “Want to give the fans a fitting send-off”
Head coach Adi Hütter and sporting director Roland Virkus spoke to the media ahead of the final match of the season against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday (15:30 CEST). Read on for a summary of all the key quotes from today’s press conference.
Adi Hütter on…
…the personnel: Tony Jantschke underwent surgery on his knee earlier this week. He had tried to get the issue under control previously, but unfortunately wasn’t able to. I assume that he will be back in team training by the start of next season. Marcus Thuram’s rehab went well and he has returned to team training as planned. He could definitely get a few minutes under his belt against Hoffenheim, but he won’t start. We hope that Jordan Beyer will be fit again in time for this weekend, but we will have to wait and see.
…the importance of the final game of the season: I think that there’s still a lot at stake for us in this game. Firstly, it can affect where we are in the table. Additionally, we want to end the season by giving the fans a fitting send-off and maintain our unbeaten run. That’s why this game against Hoffenheim is still an important one for us.
…the season as a whole: It’s not a season we can be happy with. We wanted to be in the top of the table competing for a spot in Europe, and instead found ourselves battling relegation several weeks ago. At least we were able to fight our way out of a precarious situation. Overall, we had to deal with several injuries and there were a lot of unexpected things that happened. There were more downs than ups. We suffered too many heavy defeats and a string of losses, including both derbies. The positive thing was that we tried to undergo a rebuild in the summer already and brought in several young players. It wasn’t to be expected that Manu Koné would join from the second division in France and go on to make that appearances, or that an academy product like Jordan Beyer would become integrated into our team.
…the upcoming opponent: Hoffenheim were the team of the moment at times, but have only picked up three of a possible 24 points from their last eight games, conceding 19 goals in the process. They are currently in a bit of a downward spiral that they probably hadn’t envisioned for themselves. I don’t think that TSG are entirely satisfied with how their season has gone either.
Roland Virkus on...
…the season: There’s a lot that happened this season. We had several injuries, the Covid-19 pandemic, matches behind closed doors and then were thrust into a relegation battle. We had some tough matches against Hertha BSC, for example, that could have gone either way. The situation was more precarious than most thought it would be. The team did well to battle their way out of it, with the exception of the derbies. The younger players did well to rise up to the challenge and can take this experience with them for the rest of their career. Other clubs might have been relegated after going through something like that. We managed to stay up, although that should never be Borussia’s main goal for a season.
…squad planning for the upcoming season: We will have to see what happens in terms of contract extensions or players departing the club. There are always some that you win, and some that you lose. We have had some good discussions with certain players so far and hopefully they will continue to progress well. However, there will also be some players that leave the club. That’s not the end of the world, as it can also be a chance to bring new personalities into the team. We need to find a diverse mix of players to sign.
…the U23s potentially being relegated from the Regionalliga West: This season hasn’t been good for our U23s. It wouldn’t be good for Borussia either, if we lose this foundation. For the U23s, it’s also about young players asking themselves where they can get playing time outside of the Bundesliga. They need to be progressively guided towards professional football. The Regionalliga is a great place to do that, and is therefore important to us. However, I’m confident that we will be able to pick up at least a point this weekend that we need in order to stay up.