Only fine tuning left
Mirko Slomka and his squad have been working session by gruelling session towards the start of the 2014/15 season. Things begin in earnest on Monday evening, (25.08.14. 6.60 pm), with a DFB Cup round one trip to Cottbus.
Only fine tuning to go. In four days' time, HSV begin the new season as they travel east, to take on former Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus in round one of the 2014/15 DFB Cup: "We are approaching the end of pre-season, during which we will work on speed, freshness and explosiveness", revealed Slomka to HSV.de after Thursday morning training, which after running work ended in a game which raised a few eyebrows among fans who attended the session.
Fresh wind from new faces
Slomka had new signing Nicolai Müller wreaking havoc on the right in "Team A" together with full back Dennis Diekmeier. On the opposite side left-footed duo Marcel Jansen and another new signing - Matthias Ostrzolek were in action. Heiko Westermann and Johan Djourou were paired at the heart of defence, Valon Behrami and Milan Badelj played in front of them while Rafael van der Vaar operated further up field. Slomka added: "We saw a possible formation today. Of course we are slowly but surely putting the team for Monday together. We have many options. In fact all positions have two players contesting them." The new signings have brought some fresh wind into the fray. The sessions have become much more vocal as players battle for first team places. Every single one of them can't wait for the season to start after eight gruelling weeks of pre-season "torture". Slomka knows: "The lads can't wait to get going and tom return to "normal" ways during matches, after a tough pre-season period."
"Of course we have to win"
The final friendly of the pre-season period ended in victory. Slomka had hand picked the opposition to simulate conditions in Cottbus. He had hoped that his team would sample the tempo and qualities of the opposition during the 3-1 win in Erfurt. The coach: "It is important to note that they can all play football. Players from the third division up to the Bundesliga are technically good and tactically astute. In the end there is not much difference between them. We have that superior quality so of course we must win the game." Pierre-Michel Lasogga will only be able to give the lads his moral support on Monday. The striker who joined the Rothosen from Hertha BSC Berlin on a permanent deal during the summer is having trouble shaking off heavy bruising to in his right ankle, although he is making progress. Slomka: "He has been doing what he could during individual training and is in good physical shape. We can only wait and see what the coming days bring."
None of us can wait for Monday...