“We want to make it three”
In the press conference ahead of Hamburger SV’s trip to face SC Paderborn, head coach Hannes Wolf spoke about the role of captain Aaron Hunt, his expectations for the game and the situation concerning the run-in.
On Sunday (kick off 15:30 CEST), Hamburger SV travel to SC Paderborn 07 in a highly important game in the race for promotion. Sunday’s hosts occupy second place in the table with 54 points, whilst Die Rothosen find themselves outside of promotion places for the first time since Matchday 10 after the recent 3-0 home defeat to FC Ingolstadt. A single point now separates HSV and Paderborn, who Die Rothosen have beaten twice this season (1-0 in the Hinrunde, 2-0 in the DFB-Pokal). Head coach Hannes Wolf was optimistic as he spoke to the media ahead of the third meeting this season between the two clubs. “It is true that we have already beaten Paderborn twice this season. The cup game was quite recent. We will do everything to make it three victories. Beforehand, we had a lot to lose and now we don’t have anything to lose. The past weeks haven’t been good and nobody is expecting anything from us anymore. Therefore, we have a lot to gain and that means we have a chance.”
The head coach spoke in detail about…
… the personnel: I am assuming that Gotoku Sakai and Rick van Drongelen will return to training at the end of the week and so should be available on Sunday. Kyriakos Papadopoulos didn’t train as he has a knee problem. It will be difficult for him to play. Orel Mangala unfortunately is also out due to a muscle injury. Of course this isn’t good for us but we will take it as a challenge and do the best we can.
… the importance of Aaron Hunt in the team: We want Aaron to use his vast experience to better the other players. It should be clear to everyone that it isn’t only the coaching team but also the players who can help others fulfill their potentials. Of course leaders are needed and it shouldn’t also be the coaches who bring up discussions. We have strengthened his position and our conversations with him have been good. Of course we also hope that he plays. He trained the last two days – including a 11vs11 session. He is fit again. We will have to see how long he can play for, but it is important that he is here – whether as a player or a mentor.
… the opponents: It is true that we have already beaten Paderborn twice this season. The cup game was quite recent. We will do everything to make it three victories. Paderborn have a different style to other teams in the league. They like to play football and look to play forwards from the back – it is different to a lot of teams who focus mainly on winning the second ball. I don’t want to say any bad things about them as Paderborn are playing very well this season. We are going to give everything on Sunday in order to have a chance of winning the game.
… the mental strength of the team: We have to forget about the Ingolstadt game. In Berlin, we had a good first half and we had the better chances to take the lead, but that’s football. A few weeks ago when we were leading Darmstadt 2-0 after 20 minutes, nobody would have thought that we would be in this situation now. But it can also go in the other direction. The team was of course downbeat in the past few days, but are picking themselves up now. Beforehand, we had a lot to lose and now we don’t have anything to lose. The past weeks haven’t been good and nobody is expecting anything from us anymore. Therefore, we have a lot to gain and that means we have a chance.”
… the general situation on the run-in: We have two games left – we want and need to win them, they’re finals for us. We have the situation where everything is close in this league. That means that teams who are in a bad run of form – like us, or teams like Paderborn and Berlin, still have a chance to get promoted. For us, a victory can change the situation completely, and we are going to fight for it.