"Work rate, mentality and getting stuck in"
Hamburger SV coach Bernd Hollerbach discussed his squad, his expectations ahead of this Saturday’s game with Bayer Leverkusen, and the strength of matchday 23’s opponents….
HSV will meet Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday at the Volksparkstadion sitting in 17th position in the Bundesliga, knowing that time is ticking. Thursday’s pre-match press conference lasted just nine minutes and 21 seconds. “We are in a situation that requires workrate, mentality and getting stuck in. A relegation fight is not about beautiful football it is about mindset. That is what we’re going to show on Saturday!” declared Bernd Hollerbach definitively. A message that is impossible to misinterpret.
The 48-year-old discussed the following topics:
... squad update: It’s not looking good for Albin Ekdal. I would say that he won’t make Saturday. Luca Waldschmidt has trained well, and Nicola Müller is making progress as well. Apart from him and Ekdal we will have everyone available.
... a potential return to the starting XI for ‚Papa‘: I won’t reveal my starting line up until one hour before kick-off. He’s done well in a back three so I won’t be worried about this part of the side, whoever plays.
... the opponent: Leverkusen play with tempo, and are a tough team to beat with a lot of quality. We cannot give them a lot of room and must defend from the front. I am expecting a game full of aggression and we need to make sure we let them know they are in a game with the crowd behind us. That will require a lot of force and getting stuck in all over the pitch.
.. the expected playing style: “We are in a situation that requires workrate, mentality and getting stuck in. A relegation fight is not about beautiful football it is about mindset. That is what we’re going to show on Saturday!”
... the winless run: There is nothing better than three points. I obviously hope we can get them on Saturday. The training week has been good. We have performed well against sides in the top half of the table and I think we’ll be able to buck the trend of results if we keep working hard. We have to stay positive, it makes no sense to lick our own wounds. I am 100% confident we can get out of this situation and we are trying everything we can to make that happen. But what’s most clear is that we need points.
... the small developments: We have steadied the ship and have had chances in every game. We know that we need to improve in the final third and we have been working on that. We have made progress and I am confident the net will start bulging son. You do not get gifts in life, you have work through things like this. We can only influence ourselves and the team have been working hard to do that.