"We are on the right track"
The players are glad to have got through the opening week of tough training since returning from their summer holidays. After spending five days in Zillertal – Tirol/Austria, the Rothosen posse packed their bags and returned to Hamburg. HSV.de spoke to head coach Thorsten Fink before the return trip.
HSV.de: Thorsten, the Zillertal training camp has ended. How would you assess the five days there?
Fink: We has superb facilities. The pitch was excellent as was the hotel. We were warmly welcomed and had the peace and quiet we needed. All of the players trained well and pulled their weight. Nobody sustained any serious injuries. I hope we can come back here next year because we have really enjoyed our stay. My first impressions are very positive. We are on the right track.
There were three friendlies. One on the way to Zillertal and two further games played there. Did you glean much knowledge from those games?
Fink: Not from the first game against Innsbruck, because we had not properly trained beforehand, so it was difficult to produce a good performance. But that is behind us. I was happy with our two other games. You could see that we worked hard, although some of the players looked tired at times. But that is perfectly understandable. If that hadn't been the case something would have been wrong.
The focus has been on physical fitness so far. What is planned for coming sessions?
Fink: Of course we will chop and change our sessions. We will be working more on tactics, set pieces and we will be generally flexible. In the Bundesliga you have to be able to play different systems depending on how the game is going. But everything in the end depends on the physical side of things. If I am not top fit, I cannot put tactics into practise.
In Johan Djourou and Kerem Demirbay you had two new signings on show and Jacques Zoua joined the squad a little later. What impressions do you have of the new men?
Fink: Johan and Kerem were immediately accepted by the team and have slotted in perfectly. Both have trained very well. Kerem showed in the friendly matches that he is one for the future. Djourou had to leave early yesterday, but what he had shown until then confirmed what we expect him to give us - more stability and skill at the back.
Fink: In the few minutes he played in the friendlies he proved that he has a lot of quality, the kind of which had been missing until now. He is a similar player to Paolo Guerrero - a player who can hold the ball, is good in the air and is technically gifted. He did a good job, considering that he spent half of the same day in a plane. I am looking forward to working with him.
The Nordcup is on the agenda this weekend. What can HSV fans expect from the tournament?
Fink: We would like to greet our fans with two victories. What is important is that give our all and that we show that we are better than we were this time last term. I hope that all new players will play a part.
We hope so too, many thanks for your time.