"A special game for Hamburg"

In Friday’s press conference before the home game against FC St. Pauli, HSV Coach Christian Titz spoke about the excitement before the derby, the final public training session and youngster Fiete Arp.

The 3,000 HSV fans made it clear immediately after the final whistle in Fürth (0-0) that the big aim was to win the derby. This was confirmed by the players, who committed themselves to this game after the game in discussions with journalists. On Friday, the HSV squad took the train back to Hamburg and completed an afternoon regenerative training session in the Volksparkstadion. Coach Christian Titz, who made the morning’s final training session before the game public, matched the fans’ enthusiasm about the derby and said: “It’s a special game for Hamburg. Of course we’ll give it our all to win this game. The winners get the praise, while the losers get criticised – so we’re really motivated to take the victory!”

The 47-year-old spoke in detail on...

... the excitement before the derby: There’s great anticipation among us for the match. Barely had yesterday’s match ended, when the lads realised that they were already looking forward to this game. It’s a special game for Hamburg and you can see that, the closer we get to matchday. Of course we want to give it our all to win. The winners get the praise, while the losers get criticised – so we’re really motivated to take the victory!

... the public training session: It’s fantastic that our fans have been behind us for months, and a real bond has grown between them and the team. It was the fans’ wish to support us again and get in the mood for the derby, so I thought it was a good idea to have the public session, so the players see that a lot of fans and people in the city are behind them. That will spur us on in our preparation for the game and make it clear to us how special the derby is and what it stands for.

… the game against Fürth: I’m pleased that we managed to stabilize our game after Regensburg. After the free kick in the second minute, we didn’t give them any other chances and defended really well. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get the reward for our performance though. It was also noticeable that the team were still slightly affected after the heavy defeat to Regensburg and would take a little bit of time to recover from it. Overall, I think it was a reasonable performance which we can definitely build on.

… Fiete Arp: I can say to you that Fiete has the same opinions as all of us at HSV – we all want the derby to be peaceful. He is highly motivated and cannot wait to take to the pitch to face St Pauli. He has already experienced the derby as a youth player and was highly motivated. You had to hold him back due to the excitement! What he posted on Instagram for a short time yesterday was a step too far and he knows that. He didn’t mean to cause any harm but wanted to show that he is ready for this game. He wants to win this match for himself, the club and the Rothosen’s fans. It is good for us to have a player like Fiete in our squad, who is so excited for a big match like the derby.

… the boundaries of the rivalry: We should always treat one another as human beings and respect each other in football. When we are on the pitch it’s ok to have a sporting rivalry, something which I find good. Of course football chants should be sung in the ground. The players should also be allowed to have banter with each other before the game as well; it’s all part and parcel of the game and just makes the game even more interesting. As long as it doesn’t go any further than this I don’t see any problems.

... the opponent: St. Pauli are a difficult team to play against. They are compact, defend well and are dangerous on the break. They also have a number of attacking players who we will need to be careful of. I think we will see an attritional game, where both teams will fight very hard, something typical for a derby.