Vladimir Darida is in a predicament. After 70 long days without football, the boys in blue will face TSG Hoffenheim this Saturday at 15:30 CEST. Hertha’s number 6, however, will not be playing. In Hertha’s last game against Werder Bremen (2-2), he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and will now serve his one-match suspension. For the Czech national, a team player by nature, this is no reason to grumble – quite the opposite in fact: "The Bundesliga restart is a great chance for us to finish the season positively with the nine remaining games. Our heads are clear," declared the 29-year-old, his personal situation taking a back seat.
"Our heads are clear!"
During a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Vladimir Darida spoke about Bruno Labbadia’s first weeks in charge and the return to Bundesliga football with the game in Sinsheim, which he is set to miss.
Darida is going into these nine remaining fixtures with a good feeling – which was demonstrated at a recent training match in an empty Olympiastadion. "Our possession game was decent and the defensive work also went well," said Darida, who played a big part in what was a satisfactory first look at the team for Bruno Labbadia. "It’s still early days, but the first few weeks under our new coach have been intense, on and odd the pitch. Bruno talks to us a lot and explains things to each and every one of us in great detail," said the midfielder, before expressing his optimism regarding their cooperation going forward: "This can work very well!"
All corona tests have come back negative so far
The boys in blue and white have also succeeded in avoiding any further coronavirus infections. All four sets of COVID-19 tests at Hertha BSC have come back negative for everyone. Much to the satisfaction of Vladimir Darida, who described the procedure in more detail: "They take a big swab from our mouth and nose. It’s become part of the routine now. I am glad my teammates and I can have the tests, and thankfully they’ve all been negative so far. I’m very happy about that!" Aside from the regular tests, the current circumstances are unfamiliar to the Herthaner: "Our routines during mealtimes, or the bus journeys to training are different from usual, because we’re always having to keep our distance and keep to the safety measures. This means we’re also having to take care of our own hotel rooms," said Darida, smirking as he gave his insight into the day-to-day quarantine life at Hertha. The Pilsen-born pro wants his teammates to lift everyone’s spirits with a win away to Hoffenheim this weekend: "I’ve got a good feeling about the game," he said. Should the team indeed be successful, it will surely make his absence more bearable.