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"We will do everything we can to match them"

Press conference

06.09.17

"We will do everything we can to match them"

At the press conference ahead of HSV’s matchday 3 home game against RB Leipzig on Friday night, Rothosen boss Markus Gisdol revealed the shape his international players returned in, his expectations from Friday’s floodlit clash and also touched upon youth matters at the club.

HSV head coach Markus Gisdol and his team face a tough task on Bundesliga matchday 3. The first game following the international break is at home to Champions League participants RB Leipzig at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on Friday night (08.09.17, 8.30 PM). The controversial east German outfit finished Bundesliga runners up behind Bayern last season. One problem is that nine HSV men were on international duty during the break and the likes of striker Bobby Wood (USA) and captain Gotoku Sakai (Japan) have had long strenuous journeys to endure: “Having to play on a Friday following an international break is of course not ideal, but my Leipzig counterpart faces the same problem. The marketing of the Bundesliga demands it and internationals also have to be fitted in somewhere” explained the Rothosen supremo. So no room for excuses. Gisdol and his men are ready to give their all in order to match up to the surprise team of last season.

Gisdol on...

Nine HSV men were on international duty during the break including Bobby Wood, who only returns to Hamburg on Thursday the day before the game.
Nine HSV men were on international duty during the break including Bobby Wood, who only returns to Hamburg on Thursday the day before the game.

… his international players: Bobby Wood’s situation is far from ideal. He has travelled halfway around the world, only returns on Thursday and we are playing the following day. We will have to have a close look to see what kind of shape he is in when he gets back. On the other hand Albin Ekdal and Kyriakos Papadopoulos are doing surprisingly well which is good news. Both sustained slight knocks during their opening game, so it made no sense to play them in the following game. I am confident that both men can play on Friday night. I will have a good look at the internationals today and tomorrow before picking my team.

… overall squad size: At the end of a transfer period you have to see what is possible and not make any rash decisions which could backfire. On the other hand we are thin at the back. We cannot afford much to happen because we have a man less than we had last season. That would make things very tight. Of course I accept the situation but we are aware of the danger.

… alternatives up front: Sven Schipplock is an alternative up front. He is tailor made for the game with his pressing qualities. We have several interesting options for the position behind the front man with Luca Waldschmidt, Lewis Holtby or Bakery Jatta, in the frame should we opt for a tactical change. The injuries to Hunt and Müller gives others a chance to move into the frame. It didn’t weaken us last season, in fact the lads stood up to be counted.

In the last tussle with Leipzig HSV beat them 3-0 away from home.
In the last tussle with Leipzig HSV beat them 3-0 away from home.

… his expectations from the game: I can’t wait for the game. Leipzig were the best pressing team in both halves of last season and we were also good at it after the winter break. It will be interesting to see how the game goes and what happens in the end. Leipzig are a quality side with a lot of tempo in their ranks but we are also aware of what we can do. We are in good shape and I’m sure my lads will play to their limit. We will see if that is enough against a top side but we will give our all in order to match up to them.

… Leipzig’s Timo Werner: I am not a coach who singles out top players in the opposing team for special treatment – we have to stop them as a team and have often shown that we are capable of it. With regard to how our fans will treat him, I am confident that they will behave in the right way. I have seldom seen them get on a single player’s back. Our fans have a good sense of what is needed and I hope that they use all of their energy to get behind us. That always did us good.

… his relationship with Ralf Rangnick: We are still in contact but not as regularly as we used to be. He was the man who brought me to Hoffenheim from Ulm and I was his Co-trainer at Schalke so I owe him a lot without question. It is impressive how quickly he brings success to clubs including his latest project Leipzig. Of course people say that with a lot of money you can do anything, but money can also be used badly. He usually does good things. If you take Timo Werner as an example. He bought him for big bucks when others were not prepared to invest eight to ten million in him. They were not convinced of his qualities.

Douglas was close to a transfer but now the 23 year old Brazilian can make a new start at HSV.
Douglas was close to a transfer but now the 23 year old Brazilian can make a new start at HSV.

… left back Douglas: His situation is now sorted which is a good thing for him. I had the impression that the situation burdened him over the past few weeks. We have discussed and drawn a line under the matter, so he can make a new start. I see it all from a neutral position. If I think he should make the squad I will act accordingly. He has a good chance of making the squad again.

… youth players: It was nice to see that in Luca Waldschmidt and Jonas Behounek the club has produced another couple of junior internationals. It is a good thing for the club. The youngsters we used to train with during the break also made a good impression. That is how it should be and we are always trying to bring younger players closer to the first team squad. Patric Pfeiffer for instance is a youngster who made an interesting impression in the position where we need it most – defence.