Douglas Santos: „The work has paid off“

After a trubulent time at HSV of late, Douglas Santos has found his form again and has re-established himself ind Markus Gisdol´s side. 

It has been a real rollercoaster ride for Douglas Santos in the last few months. The Rothosen left-back has been out of favour with the coach and gone through a tough period since early August. After the early DFB-Pokal exit at the hands of VfL Osnabrück at the beginning of August, head coach Markus Gisdol twice left the Brazilian out of the matchday squad at the start of the Bundesliga season. It wasn’t easy at all for Douglas, as he admitted at a press conference in the Volksparkstadion on Wednesday afternoon (8th November). “It is hard for any player to watch from the stands,” the 23-year-old said. He didn’t mope around, however; in every training session, he worked hard and fought his way back. In the last three Bundesliga games, he has been a key member of the side; he has played the full 90 minutes and put in good performances. “I tried to stay strong in the hard times,” Douglas explained. “I wanted to get back into the starting XI and I put a lot of effort in training to achieve that goal. You have to start afresh every day and when you are given a chance, you have to grab it with both hands. You can’t mope around and you have to always keep on working. The work has paid off.”

Praise from the boss

Head coach Gisdol appreciates this attitude, and has been full of praise for the Brazilian in recent weeks. The defender is now playing with more freedom. “Of course, the boss gives me feedback after the games. He has told me to keep it up,” Douglas said. “My target is to carry on playing as I am and continue to help the team to get further up the table.” The transfer in the summer that had been discussed in the media isn’t on the cards. “I have a long-term contract at HSV,” Douglas said on Wednesday, “When I made the decision to move here, I didn’t come with the intention of only staying for a year. I want to write my own history and be the best I can be.”

 “That is all part of the life of a footballer”

Douglas has been in Hamburg for more than a year now and he has experienced highs and lows. Great wins, bitter losses, the relegation scrap and ultimately survival. He has settled into Germany and at HSV during the year. The German lessons have particularly helped him to feel more comfortable in his new home. “Of course it was hard at the start, coming to a completely new country and not speaking the language,” the 23-year-old, who moved with his wife to Hamburg last August, admitted. “It was particularly hard for my family. Now that I am settled in here and understand the language a bit better, it is definitely easier. It is easier in training too.” Of course, Douglas misses his family in Brazil, who he now rarely sees, but he puts up with that feeling in order to fulfil his dream.“That is all part of the life of a footballer,” he said in the press conference. 

Douglas always keeps his head up. After the long-awaited victory against VfB Stuttgart (3-1) on Matchday 11, the relief from all the HSV fans was clear to see. The delight amongst the players after getting the victory was huge. “After the success at the weekend against Stuttgart, we are all hoping that we can keep on going and go into the winter break in a less precarious situation,” Douglas said, “We will give our all to put in good performances and to continue notching up victories.”