Berlin – The sun was shining, it was 26 degrees and the freshly watered grass was glistening: the conditions for the first training session of the week could hardly have been better on Tuesday afternoon (22/09/20). It fitted perfectly, then, that the Hertha players were in a good mood after their successful start to the season, with grins visible on all faces. “There’s no substitute for victories. We need to keep developing our confidence. You could see in training immediately, there was an extra buzz,” said head coach Bruno Labbadia about the good mood in camp.
Shortly before the session, a new captain and team council was chosen. Defender Dedryck Boyata will wear the captain’s armband for Hertha in the 2020/21 season. Niklas Stark is vice-captain, and Peter Pekarík is third in charge. Marvin Plattenhardt and Mathew Leckie make up the team council. “It’s not a great surprise to me that Dedryck is the new captain. He’s a real leader and the squad has recognised that and chosen him. The team have made a good pick with those three,” said Labbadia on the decision.
Ascacíbar back, Dilrosun still missing
The perfect conditions in training and the new leadership was not the only good news of the day – Santiago Ascacíbar returned to squad training for the first time since his metatarsal injury. That means that, apart from Javairô Dilrosun (thigh problem), Bruno Labbadia has his whole squad to pick from for Friday night’s home game against Eintracht Frankfurt (25/09/20, 20:30 CEST). “Santi is back in training sooner than we expected. That’s down to his hard work. We have to slow him down rather than push him and that’s great for us. We’ll have to wait a little longer with Jav. He still has some small problems unfortunately,” said the 54-year-old. Jhon Córdoba had to leave training early due to a knock to the head, but that was just a precautionary measure. “He had a headache, and, as there wasn’t much of training left, we said he should go in,” said the head coach.
Throughout the two-hour training session, the players gave the impression that they wanted to up the ante against Eintracht Frankfurt, even after comfortably defeating Werder Bremen 4-1 away from home. They were committed, driven and threw themselves into every challenge. After a warm-up, the players went into different passing drills before practising situations with a turnover of possession. The session finished with an intense eleven against eleven game, which brought to an end an eventful day’s work at the training ground.