Berlin – The 2019/20 season has been a turbulent and unforgettable campaign for Hertha, not just because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Herthaner are now getting ready for the final game of the season away to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday, 27th June (15:30 CEST). The team and coaching staff will eat breakfast together on Sunday morning, before going their separate ways for the summer. Due to coronavirus, it’s not yet known when the players and staff will return to the Olympic park for pre-season. “We want the lads to have a relaxing period off – even if we don’t know how long it’ll be for. They definitely need time to relax mentally and physically. We will still be in an unknown situation, where we will have to improvise certain things,” said head coach Bruno Labbadia on the plans for the current season, with no start date decided so far.
One thing is for sure: the side from the capital will travel to Mönchengladbach fully focused as they look to end the season on a high. “Now isn’t the time to start switching off. We want to play as well as we can,” stressed Labbadia, who has recently said that the final games of the season will help determine his plans for the future. The Foals are in pole position to take the final Champions League spot, mainly after Hertha did them a huge favour by beating Leverkusen last time out. “We could still finish ninth, which would be a good position given how many highs and lows we’ve had this season,” stated Vedad Ibisevic, who believes the side are fully motivated for the last game of 2019/20.
The players will still be up for it
Despite a large number of absentees, the captain & Co. want to give it their all. Right backs Peter Pekarik (went off injured against Leverkusen) and Lukas Klünter (suspended) are now both unavailable, in addition to the already large injury list. Karim Rekik, Marius Wolf, Javairo Dilrosun, Thomas Kraft, Maximilian Mittelstädt, Santiago Ascacibar, Luca Netz, Marton Dárdai, Lazar Samardzic and Salomon Kalou will also miss out, while Arne Maier and Per Skjelbred, with the latter leaving Hertha after seven years at the end of the season, may still make it. Both central midfielders completed the warm up and passing drills on Wednesday (24/6/20), before working individually with Günter Kern. “Per is doing everything he can to take part in his final game here, but it will be tough. We don’t want to take any risks regarding Arne either,” confirmed Labbadia. The two options at right back are Mathew Leckie and Alexander Esswein. “I think they are both capable of filling in there. We’ll see who gets the nod.”
Labbadia made one small change to the training week before the end of the season: all the players were given performance tests on Tuesday. “It’s important that we know what kind of condition the players are in before they go away on holiday. They can then work on their weaknesses in their own time, so that we can start preparing for the next season already,” reflected Labbadia. “We need to do everything we can to avoid a relegation battle. We need to work our socks off!”