Jens Todt: "We are in a very dangerous position"
Jens Todt spoke to HSV.de in an interview about his thoughts on the first half of the season, possible winter transfers and potential contract extensions for Dennis Diekmeier and Gotoku Sakai.
Almost a week has passed since Hamburger SV’s final match before the winter break against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Since then, Markus Gisdol has drawn up an individual training plan for each player in the squad to complete over the break and has carefully analysed the first half of the season with his coaching staff and Jens Todt. Sporting Director Todt spoke to HSV.de in an interview about his thoughts on the first half of the season, possible winter transfers and potential contract extensions for Dennis Diekmeier and Gotoku Sakai.
Jens Todt, a few days have passed already since the end of the first half of the season. After the Gladbach match, Gisdol insisted that the team had to figure out what went wrong. What have you been discussing over the past few days?
Jens Todt: First of all, 15 points after 17 matches is just not enough. There are multiple reasons behind our disappointing first half to the season. We started off well, but then we had a run of eight games without a win. We were struggling to score when most of our attacking players were out injured. Then, we managed to get ourselves out of a rut and picked up some important points. All too often, we have been putting on good performances but walking away empty handed because of simple, individual mistakes.
A year ago, HSV were in the relegation zone with just 13 points. You said that we cannot compare that to the club’s situation this year. Why not?
Well, in a way it is very comparable with our situation last year because again, we are in a very dangerous position. We urgently need to pick up more points in the second half of the season. Last year, we made some very important changes to our squad over the winter break. Cleber, Emir Spahic and Alen Halilovic left the club, whilst Mergim Mavraj, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Walace were brought in. This season is different however, because we are convinced the core of our squad is stronger.
It can be difficult to bring in players over the winter break because it can be costly. Will many changes be made to the squad over the coming weeks?
It is very likely that we will try to strengthen our squad soon, but there is no guarantee. We will only bring someone in if we are sure they will be right for the team. We will not panic sign anyone.
What kind of player would help the club?
We need a midfield player who can increase our goal threat.
A few contracts are due to expire in the summer. Is this a topic that is currently being discussed?
Tatsuya Ito has already signed a contract extension and we are currently in talks with Dennis Diekmeier and our captain Gotoku Sakai. We hope that we can reach an agreement on terms with both of these players in January.
Last season, we picked up 25 points in the second half of the season. A similar run is definitely needed again this year. What makes you feel positive that we can do it?
We have a strong, stable squad and great fans behind us. We are a unit and we will stick together. It is going to be tough, but we can do it.