The best thing for a coach to have is plenty of competition in the squad for the starting lineup, as the players are encouraged to give their best performances to keep their places for matchday. However, at the same time, plenty of competition among players can also give coaches a headache as they can only name eleven players each week to start. In this respect, coach Pál Dárdai doesn’t want the Old Lady’s friendly to be regarded as an exception. “As always, the squad is focused on tomorrow’s friendly and this helps to create a good atmosphere in training,” said the Hungarian on Wednesday.
The annual friendly during the international break offers Dárdai a short-term solution to his bitter-sweet dilemma. The coach plans to use the friendly away at SV Babelsberg (11th October – 17:30 CEST) as an opportunity to rotate the squad. “Our plan is to play Davie Selke, Lukas Klünter and Pascal Köpke for the full 90 minutes,” suggests Dárdai, hinting which players are likely to feature on Thursday. “Physically, they should have a couple of challenging days ahead of them, as they haven’t played the full 90 minutes for a while. As we will also have a short training session in the morning, their legs might hurt a bit at the end of the day,” explained Dárdai with a grin.
Vladimir Darida also hopes to feature for some of the match in Babelsberg. “I currently feel about 90% fit and I haven’t had any match practice in the last three months,” said Darida. “I haven’t spoken with the coach about how long I should play tomorrow but I hope to feature for the entire 90 minutes.” This is understandable as Darida will want to feature against former club SC Freiburg when Hertha return to Bundesliga action on Saturday, 21st October (15:30 CEST). “Of course it would be great to play against my former club, but it is the coach who decides whether or not I will be in the squad. I will give everything I have to hopefully return in that match,” says Hertha’s number six. This should be the plan for all of Darida’s teammates who will be in action tomorrow in Babelsberg.