Ahead of the Bundesliga encounter away to Hertha BSC on Friday night (20:30 CET), head coach André Schubert and sporting director Max Eberl were at the pre-match press conference to discuss team news, what to expect from our opponents, and Borussia’s tightly packed schedule.
André Schubert on…
… the latest team news: Thorgan Hazard and Raffael will be in the squad, but Ibrahima Traoré is not ready yet. We’ll see on Friday who is still carrying knocks from our last game and then make a decision about who can start the game.
... the condition of his players: The lads have recovered well from the match against Celtic, and there’s still another day to go. Then we’ll have to be at our best. Apart from that, we’ve already said all there is to say about our current workload.
… the opposition, Hertha BSC: Berlin have got a good team, although they didn’t start the season perfectly and got knocked out in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League. But they’ve come a long way since then. Their games are usually very tight, the team is well organised, they don’t give very much away, they’re quick on the break and dangerous at set-pieces.
… the outlook after four Bundesliga games without a goal: In between those Bundesliga matches, we also played in the DFB Cup and Champions League and did score in those games. But it’s true that we’ve not been at our best in front of goal lately, and there are a variety of reasons for that. We have managed to get goals without Raffael and Thorgan, but obviously they are two players who can make the difference at times. They are very dangerous attacking players who can create lots of opportunities, and really important to us. When Barcelona are without Neymar, Messi and Suarez, then they have problems too - it’s normal. On that basis it’s good for us to have them back. You could see that against Celtic, when Thorgan was playing again after just one training session, but immediately made an impact and set up a goal for us. Raffael also made a difference to the game when he came on as well.
… the emerging story surrounding Christoph Kramer: That is a private matter. We have complete faith in him. It has had no effect on his performance levels in training or in matches, and it won’t. He is very experienced - anyone who loses their confidence so soon after playing in a World Cup Final won’t be around for too long. He’s settled in his life, he’s got a good environment around him and he’s at a club that will stick by him 100 percent.
Max Eberl on…
… the recent discussions about the fixture list: I’ve been surprised by the tone these reports have taken. Obviously I spoke with the DFL in advance, and they explained to me the problems with the protests going on in Berlin on Saturday. But on Tuesday I still felt I should mention that a bit more consideration could be given to all the teams that play in Europe - and I don’t just mean us. I certainly didn’t mean it as an attack on Bayern, I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that an extra day of recovery would have done us a lot of good in this difficult period with a lot of games coming thick and fast.
… Borussia’s current league position: We have to tolerate a mid-table position at the moment simply because that’s where we are. We’ve said plenty over the past few weeks about the current situation, that it’s no major surprise and that we’ve had a number of injury problems - but also that we’re not happy with how things are going. At the same time, you can’t judge a season based on the first nine games. We’ve now reached a stage where we’ve not got as many points as we thought we would, but that can happen in the Bundesliga. The good thing is that every weekend we have another chance to change that.