The Christmas candles have gone out, the New Year's Eve hangover is finally ending - now the tasks of the New Year are in front of us. Even at the capital club, the days off are coming to an end as on Thursday (03/01/19), Hertha begin their preparation for the second half of the season. “The break is good. But we are footballers and after just a few days we start to think about sport again and we are happy that it starts again," said Pál Dárdai, who gave his players eleven days off. However, the days off have not necessarily been ‘days off’. "The boys have an individualized training plan to maintain their strength and stamina," said the Hungarian. His players are expected to regroup with the coach on the 2nd January back in the capital.
One day later, the players will all meet at Schenckendorffplatz at 10:00 CET in order to begin preparation for the second half of the season. The team will have 19 days to prepare for their first game, which is against FC Nürnberg (20/01/19, 15:30 CET). “Winning the first game would be very important and it would give us some momentum for the next few games,” said Dárdai. In the following three weeks, the games come thick and thin as Hertha will play: Schalke 04 (H) (25/01/19, 20:30 CET), VfL Wolfsburg (H) (02/02/19, 15:30 CET), a DFB-Pokal game against Bayern München (H) (06/02/19, 20:45 CET) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (A) (09/02/19, 15:30 CET).
Telekom Cup in Düsseldorf
In order to get some match practise under their belts, the Berliners will take part in the Telekom Cup on the 13th January in Düsseldorf. The other three teams are hosts Fortuna Düsseldorf, Record Champions Bayern München and Borussia Mönchengladbach. There are further friendlies being planned. Dárdai and his team will be training twice a day in Berlin.