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Post Match Report

28.08.18

Encouraging the learning process

There’s a good feeling around the club following the first home win of the season. However, despite the 3-0 win against Arminia Bielefeld, head coach Titz is making sure his team doesn’t get carried away. The new system at the club still needs perfecting.

As soon as Lewis Holtby’s header found the back of the net, the celebrating HSV players ran straight to the dugout. There, kitman Mirsolav Zadach handed the players Jairo Samperio’s number 23 jersey. The goal was dedicated the Spaniard who was seriously injured in training during the week and was a nice gesture. 46,934 spectators watched a game that saw ‘Die Rotenhosen’ emerge clear 3-0 winners; a scoreline that doesn’t quite fully reflect how the match actually unfolded.  The Bielefeld side fought bravely against the favourites from Hamburg. It was, however, Bielefeld’s failure to convert chances that let them down in the end. An efficient Pierre-Michel Lasogga, scoring two goals for the second time this week, made the difference in the end and led HSV to an important first home win in the 2. Bundesliga.  It was the third competitive fixture in a row where HSV have ended victors. However, one shouldn’t get carried away. Head coach Christian Titz has one message for his team: ‘Build on the positive performances, stay focused and keep working hard’.

With three points in the bag, the focus is now on Saturday’s clash away against Dynamo Dresden (1st September, 13:00 CEST). HSV.de reviews the Bielefeld game, discusses the squad situation and looks ahead to the upcoming week.

The Bielefeld game: Monday night saw a show of fan friendship. Around 3,000 Bielefeld fans travelled to the Volksparkstadion and, along with the home fans, experienced an attacking game.

The game’s statistics show that HSV had the upper hand. However, despite Holtby’s goal after nine minutes, HSV made very little of their first-half dominance. Offensively, the finishing touch was missing. Luckily for Titz’s side, Bielefeld also struggled from the same problem. Just before the break Bielefeld went close when Florian Hartherz’s free kick on the 40th minute was saved by HSV keeper Julian Pollersbeck at full stretch. Just two minutes later, a misplaced pass from Rick von Drongelen meant ‘Polle’ needed to save the day again. “We need to stop making silly mistakes. They often make for a five or ten minute period of uncertainness,” commented Titz critically on his team’s performance between 30th and 60th minutes.   

During the break the coach reacted by bringing on Vasiljie Janjicic for Tatsuya Ito. Titz commented: “We wanted to sure up the midfield and I feel the substitution did that. We need to be sure that we learn from this and know to stay more compact in the future”. It was late in the second half before Pierre-Michel Lasogga eventually put his mark on the game and secured the win through two goals after 76 and 88 minutes. The first goal saw Lasogga collect the ball in the penalty box, turn and fire the ball into the back of the net. The second was a scored from the penalty spot. The physical attacker made sure all HSV fans left smiling after a 3-0 win. “Pierre played a very important role for us yesterday. The game suited him perfectly. He is the kind of player who proves his quality when he gets the ball in the box” Overall Titz was happy with his team’s performance. “Game on game, it’s clear that we are developing. That proves we are on the right path.”

Squad news: On Monday, the head coach could build his team around the captain, as Aaron Hunt returned for his first competitive game of the new season. His talent and experience ensured a certain calmness within the team. Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s inclusion in the starting line-up was another golden touch from the HSV head coach. We asked if this meant the centre-forward question was solved: “Of course not, we have three good strikers all with different strengths. It depends on the game which striker we choose to start.” The same goes for the defence. Titz explained that Leo Lacroix is getting close to being in the kind of form needed in order to play for HSV. The two newcomers, Khaled Narey and Orel Mangala have also proved themselves to be a key part of Titz’s new system. Titz seemed particularly impressed by Narey’s speed and willingness to get shots away.

Manuel Wintzheimer, Bakery Jatta, Mo Kwarteng, Stephan Ambrosius and Morten Behrens were five first-team squad members who played for the U21s in last weekend’s 4-0 loss to VfL Wolfsburg. The reason for their inclusion was the chance to get some game time. During the Bielefeld game, Titz had to do without Matti Steinmann and Josha Vagnoman, both of whom were recovering from hamstring injuries. They will, however, be back to training this week before the away game to Dynamo Dresden.

Outlook: HSV now have two wins from three in the 2. Bundesliga. “When we have possession we can control the game. In the second-division the ball is often played long and then pulled back for the oncoming attackers. That’s a difference compared to the Bundesliga,” explained Titz. The team is also aware that there will be a lot more tough, physical games in the second league. The team doesn’t want to lose any time and get right on with working on stabilising the midfield. Even during Tuesday morning’s warm-down session, the preparations for the next game had started.

Matchday 4 sees HSV take on Dynamo Dresden on Saturday at 13:00 (CEST). Dresden have had an mixed start to the season: they beat Duisburg 1-0 and then lost to Bielefeld 2-1, before going down 3-2 to Rödinghausen after extra time in the DFB-Pokal. Head coach Uwe Neuhaus got the sack and Christian Fiel has since taken over on an interim basis. However, the interim coach’s first game saw a 3-1 defeat at home to Heidenheim. However, Titz is not going to underestimate the opposition. “We’re already focused on Dynamo Dresden. They’re a hard team to analyse since their interim coach will bring a new style to the team. We know we are going to come up against a quality opponent.”

With three consecutive wins already under the belt, HSV want keep working hard to ensure the winning run continues. The team are proud of their success so far, but have their sights set on Dresden.