“In football you always have a chance”
In a press conference ahead of the DFB-Pokal semi-final against RB Leipzig, HSV head coach Hannes Wolf gave an update on the current state of the squad, and discussed the significance of the match.
Anticipation is high in advance of the DFB-Pokal semi-final on Tuesday evening, which will see Hamburger SV face off against RB Leipzig (20:30 CEST). HSV are looking to move into the final for the first time in 32 years, having won the trophy three times before (1963, 1976, and 1987). “It is a very important game. We know that we will be up against a very good team. However, in football you always have a chance. We want to give everything we can in order to win. We need a strong performance from our keeper and also a bit of luck,” said head coach Hannes Wolf during a pre-match press conference.
The coach spoke in detail about...
... the current state of the squad: Orel Mangala is banged up with a bruised foot. Kyriakos Papadopoulos is also slightly injured after picking up a stress injury during training. At the same time, Douglas Santos could only take part in limited training due to muscle issues. We will only be able to determine tomorrow whether or not they are fit to take part in the semi-final.
... Hunt, Hwang, and Lasogga: With Aaron, we need to play it by ear. He was out for a long time and only recently returned. There’s no guarantee, but I’m not sure he will be able to play another full 90 minutes back-to-back. Pierre is a different story: he sat out the game against Köln with muscle issues, but made his return against Aue and is ready to play again. Hee-chan had to deal with multiple muscle injuries, so it’s good for him to get as much playing time as possible. I hope that he will be able to factor for us again. We need these players that are dangerous in front of the net.
... the significance of the match: It is a very important game. We know that we will be up against a very good team. However, in football you always have a chance. We want to give everything we can in order to win. It would be unthinkable for us to go in thinking otherwise. We have been very strong during our Pokal matches so far and now we’re just one game away from the final in Berlin. We will have to leave everything on the pitch. We need a strong performance from our keeper and also a little bit of luck.
… Tuesday’s opposition: We’re playing against a super team. Leipzig’s performances have been fantastic. They play with a very high tempo and have incredible fitness levels. They are structured very well defensively and press well. They are a team with a lot of quality. Therefore, the roles are clear: they are the favorites, not us. However, there have been games in the past where the underdog has gone through.
… balancing the league and cup: They are different situations. On Wednesday morning, the league will one hundred percent have priority again. We are taking everything step-by-step, so as not to close off either competition. The scheduling doesn’t pose any kind of problem. We can play tomorrow and still have enough time to recover and be able to give everything against Union Berlin. For a lot of teams, it is normal to play on a Tuesday and then again on Sunday. We would never complain about it. It shouldn’t and won’t ever be an excuse to play twice in a week.
… the fans: The support that we have had all season has been unbelievable. It is amazing how many people come to support HSV at so many different times, regardless of the club’s situation. It is really nice that over 51,000 supporters will be in attendance tomorrow, and I’d like to think that a few more tickets could be sold and the stadium could be sold out.