During his press conference ahead of Sunday’s DFB-Pokal first round tie at BSC Hastedt (18:30 CEST), Dieter Hecking discussed...
... preparation for Sunday’s opponent: It’s a Pokal game. You cannot travel arrive there thinking you’ve already won, even though it’s a fifth division side. We want to see our plans come off and for that we need to know how the opposition play, their fundamental system and what the coach’s ideology is. So we’ve done our homework. We’ve created a mental image of the venue. We also have the advantage of playing on Platz 11 at SV Werder Bremen’s training complex. The pitch is kept in really good condition. That always helps when you’re playing a smaller club.
... the significance of the Pokal match for the opponent: For BSC Hastedt, it’s their game of the year, if not game of the decade. They will give it absolutely everything. We need to control the ball, let our creativity stem from possession and convert our chances.
... goalkeeping selection: Every position is up for grabs, including Sunday’s keeper. We are in constant contact with the goalkeeping coaches. It’s certainly possible that Tobias Sippel finds himself between the sticks.
... a possible new formation: I’m not too preoccupied with this. We’ve already played in a 4-2-3-1 system on occasion last season. Of course I hope that a successful run of preseason friendlies will form a solid basis for a new system. However, we’re well aware that we’re not 100 percent there yet. We’ll warm to it a lot more as the first few games of the season play out. Nevertheless, what we’ve worked on so far has already ingrained itself in the team. You’ll see elements put into practise on Sunday for sure, but it will be a different performance to those against Espanyol, Real Betis and Southampton. We need to adapt to the fact that the opposition will defend their goal with tooth and nail, so the Pokal game is probably not the best opportunity to implement our new system.
... Alassane Plea: He trained very well yesterday and showed me once again that he’s certain to be a decisive figure this season. I’m undecided as to how long he’ll play for on Sunday. Patience will be key. The same goes for all the new signings: they’ve come into a new environment, from leagues where squad depth isn’t as much of a feature as in the Bundesliga, so they need time to settle in.
... Mandela Egbo and Jordan Beyer: They have certainly impressed during the preseason. Jordan’s name has been on everyone’s lips over the last few weeks, and for good reason. Mandela Egbo has also taken a big step forward. Against Wegberg, he embodied the ideal attacking-minded full back. He put in great crosses, threatened the goal himself, but also defended solidly. It would set him in great stead, if he put on those kind of performances for the U23s as well.