"Cool heads, fiery hearts"
In the Nordderby pre-match press conference, Bernd Hollerbach spoke about his excitement in the run-up to the game, the explosiveness of the tie and about Walace and the birth of his child.
The 108th Nordderby takes place this weekend at 18:30 CET on Saturday evening. The legendary tie between Hamburger SV and Werder Bremen is the most played Bundesliga fixture in the league’s history and this weekend’s instalment has an added incentive given that both clubs are directly competing in the relegation battle. “I’m expecting the game to be full of emotion. It’s a derby game and just a massive occasion. We need to keep cool heads but fiery hearts,” explained Bernd Hollerbach in the pre-match press conference. The HSV coach knows exactly what he’s talking about too, having played in the Nordderby himself nine times as a player boasting a pretty decent ratio in those games with four wins and three draws. “I’m really looking forward to the match; these kinds of games are the reason I do the job. I had a decent record as a player and the extra noise from the crowd always spurred me on that bit more.”
In the press conference, the 48-year-old coach touched on…
…how much he’s looking forward to the match: I’m expecting the game to be full of emotion. It’s a derby game and just a massive occasion. The table situation isn’t that important because in a derby anything can happen. There’s always a lot of emotion in this tie, so we need to have cool heads but fiery hearts.
...the explosiveness of the tie: As the away team, we’re expecting a special game but we’re professionals and when the ref blows his whistle then it’s what happens on the pitch that decides the game. We don’t want to speculate before the game; we just have to show all the preparation we’ve done with a good performance out on the pitch. We have done a lot of tackling practice during the week and I know that all the players will be ready for a fiery match. The boys know this weekend is special; especially for the fans who have supported us so well in Leipzig and Dortmund.
...his own Nordderby memories: On the pitch you can run around and diffuse your emotion that way but you can’t do that in the dugout, where you end up feeling a bit helpless because you can’t affect the game until you get the boys in at half time. I’m really looking forward to the match however; these kinds of games are the reason I do the job. I had a decent record as a player and the extra noise from the crowd always spurred me on that bit more.
…Walace: I trust Walace and expect him to be in Bremen on Friday evening. The situation has been tough on him but I told him he should travel to see his family and then come back to Hamburg when he’s ready. He played in our last game and is a great lad, so I gave him my trust and it’s been repaid. He was so pleased that he could be there for the birth of his child. When he comes back, we will have a look at how fit he is and then make a decision. We will take 19 players with us; so one extra and then if he is fit he will play but if not we have backup.
...general team news: Albin Ekdal is a lot better. He has already done a rehab session this morning and then I had a little chat with him afterwards. He is a lot better but we’ve got to wait till tomorrow to see how he gets on. I’m more expecting that he will be back with us for the home game against Mainz but we will see. With Lewis Holtby, his cut has been sewn up and we’ve now got to monitor it for infection but otherwise all players are fighting fit.
...veteran Aaron Hunt: Aaron is especially motivated, because he been with Werder and knows both sides of the tie. He is a leader and a very experienced player in our squad. He can deal with these kinds of situations. I’ve already heard that he’s taken a few of the younger boys aside and had a little word with them before the match. A player with his kind of experience is so important for the boys.