In his press conference ahead of Saturday’s home match against Hertha BSC, Borussia head coach Dieter Hecking spoke about…
…squad updates: Nothing has changed regarding player availability since the Schalke match. All of the squad are available for the match with the exceptions of Raffael, Keanan Bennetts and Mamadou Doucouré. Denis Zakaria suffered a painful knock to the knee in training yesterday. Initially, it looked quite severe but he certainly still plans to play on Saturday.
…potentially continuing the winning streak at home: Our winning run at home hasn’t influenced our preparations for this match at all. The decisive factor is that we want to bring a good performance on Saturday. We want to apply pressure and bring the necessary patience to Saturday’s match. We also want to work hard and remain disciplined when not in possession. We basics will be very important on Saturday. If we defend well once again and remain concentrated when Hertha have the ball, the first step towards victory will be complete. The second step is about find ways through the Hertha defence when in possession, creating chances and, of course, taking them.
…opponents Hertha BSC: As they showed last night in the DFB-Pokal against FC Bayern, they are strong opponents who possess a lot of quality. It is a very disciplined and determined team, who don’t need many chances to be successful. We will have to adjust to their system and create chances of our own. It is down to us to see whether the Pokal defeat will have any influence on the Hertha players. If we allow them to settle in the match, the late drama last night won’t have any influence on the outcome of the match. If we are able to cause Hertha problems and force them to work hard, then they could become tired from their efforts last night.
…the 4-2 defeat in the previous encounter this season: I don’t think Hertha outplayed us on that occasion earlier this season. Salomon Kalou was able to provide them with an extra man on the right side and we suffered badly from this. We certainly made too many mistakes in this match. We will have to play better at home on Saturday compared with that performance in Berlin.
…Raffael’s return: Raffael is definitely in our plans for the forthcoming weeks. He’s only doing running exercises for now but he could potentially return to individual training in a couple of weeks. This will lead to him participating in some challenges to see how his shoulders cope with the extra workload. We hope to have in for the final run in at the end of the season as he would certainly help us achieve great things. We know what he can do based on the Hinrunde. His goal wasn’t the only good thing he did on Saturday, but also the way in which he played. He showed that we could use him each week
…Alassane Plea’s current form: There are always discussions surrounding a striker when they go through a phase of not scoring as many goals. However, Alassane is not letting this get to him. We has proved on multiple occasions this season that he can impact a match even if he doesn’t get much ball contact.
…Christoph Kramer’s situation: Everyone was pleased that Christoph scored against Schalke. It was important for him to experience something positive back out on the pitch with the rest of the team. I'm delighted that Christoph Kramer showed that he's ready to be thrown in and do a great job. He will be a very important player for us yet.