Post match report
Make the most of the international break
The Rothosen are aiming to take advantage of the international break following the goalless draw with Werder Bremen in Saturday’s Nordderby.
“I’m a little torn,” said Markus Gisdol the day after his side’s 0-0 draw with age-old rivals Werder Bremen, and many HSV will no doubt have felt the same way. Hamburg were the better side in almost every department on Saturday evening – more shots, more possession, more challenges won and a better pass accuracy. However, luck was not on our side. Despite a battling performance, HSV were unable to reward themselves with a goal or the three points. The disappointment was clear to see on the players’ face after the final whistle, but there are positives to take from the game. “I saw a lot of good things out there,” commented Gisdol. “We showed some real playfulness and controlled the game over long periods. We moved the ball around well. When you don’t get the goal, you need to keep a clean sheet, and that’s just what we did,” said the coach. It’s a useful point for the Rothosen after four defeats on the bounce, and the performances of the youngsters, particularly Tatsuya Ito, was certainly cause for optimism.
With point number seven in the bag, we now enter another international break, which provides the opportunity to get some intensive training sessions in. HSV.detakes a look back at the weekend’s game and gives you an update on the latest team news ahead of a busy week on the training pitch.
Match analysis: The result wasn’t one the Rothosen could be overly happy with, having controlled Werder for the majority of the game and worked a number of decent chances. Aaron Hunt and Bobby Wood both had multiple opportunities to open the scoring, although Bremen were not without their chances, despite being kept busy in defence. It became quite an end-to-end affair midway through the second half, but ultimately there was nothing to separate the sides come the full-time whistle.
We played well for long spells, but it’s a shame that we weren’t able to get that all-important winner. We deserved more,” said Markus Gisdol in a chat with the press on Sunday. It’s now been five matchdays since Hamburg’s injury-hit attack has been able to score a goal. “We’re struggling to get that ball over the line at the moment,” explained the boss, who still saw plenty of positives in his team’s performance in the derby. “We’re at the point where we’re creating plenty of chances. It’s only a matter of time until we start rewarding ourselves. Saturday was already a step in the right direction.”
Team news: There were two returnees in the Nordderby. After fighting off back problems and a muscle strain respectively, the experienced pair of Albin Ekdal and Aaron Hunt were back in the starting XI. “I feel like the worst has come and gone personnel-wise,” said Gisdol. “It’s nice to have players like Ekdal and Hunt back on board; it gives us more quality.”
It wasn’t just the experienced players who did well against Bremen though. Youngsters Tatsuya Ito and Vasilije Janjicic were in the starting line-up and certainly made an impression. “I’m really happy for the young lads. We’ve seen how they can perform in training, and it’s great to see them deliver on the pitch as well. This could really be the start of something,” said the coach with the necessary degree of caution. “We need to give the young players time and stability in order to develop, however.” Attacking talent Fiete Arp also made his Bundesliga debut on the weekend, having been given permission to delay his departure to the U17 World Cup in India.
Among all the positives, there was a setback though. The Rothosen will be without Kyriakos Papadopoulos for the upcoming Bundesliga game in Mainz on 14th October, after the defender picked up his fifth yellow card of the season. “We have three very good centre backs,” said Gisdol. “Gideon [Jung] did a great job on Saturday, and Mergim is always an option. All three are on a level playing field for me.”
Meanwhile, Bakery Jatta, who wasn’t in the squad this weekend, and Julian Pollersbeck are currently training with the U21s and will be involved in the reserves’ game against Hannover 96 on Monday evening, in order to get minutes under their belt.
Look ahead: For now though, it’s the international break. As many as ten HSV players will be away with their respective countries. That means the first team will be complemented by some youth players during this week’s training sessions. “It’s a good chance for some younger players to get involved. We want to use this week for some high-intensity work, and the once the international players return next week, our full focus will be on the Mainz game,” said Gisdol.
So there’s some hard work ahead for the Rothosen and plenty of time for some fine tuning. With the derby week now behind us, albeit without the perfect result, one thing is clear: the boys have taken a step in the right direction.