The training week ahead of our away game at Mainz began with a double session on Tuesday (10.09.19). Arne Maier returns to training but Peter Pekarik is injured.
For two days, everything except football seemed to be happening in Berlin. Last weekend, the Lollapalooza Festival was in the capital, and national and international artists attracted more than 160,000 spectators to the Olympic Stadium. Even a few Herthaner mingled with the festival goers on their weekend off. However, they were soon brought back to reality with a training session on Tuesday. The only music on offer was being blasted in the weights room before and after the morning and afternoon sessions. “After a couple of days off, it can sometimes take awhile to get back up to speed in training. But we have a good sense of what went wrong in our previous matches and have worked with the team to correct our mistakes. We have made the most of the international break and want to continue to progress over the next few days,” says Ante Covic after one 90-minute and one 75-minute training session. Peter Pekarik did not take part in training and will be out of action for the time being. The right-back returned from international duty with Slovakia with a calf injury suffered in training. "I'm always happy when the boys return feeling positive, but unfortunately he got injured in the final training session," says his club coach. Per Skjelbred spent the morning in the gym (workload management) but joined the rest of the team in the afternoon.
Maier set for return
Niklas Stark and Ondrej Duda will also return to team training on Wednesday morning. After returning from international duty, both players trained with fitness coach Hendrik Vieth. Meanwhile, Arne Maier trained individually in the morning but joined the rest of the squad for the afternoon session. “Hopefully, Arne will be back in full team training in the next few days. If Mathew Leckie, Vladimir Darida and Daishawn Redan manage to come back from their national teams fully fit, we have complete squad apart from 'Peka',” says Covic happily. Rune Jarstein, who played 180 minutes in goal for Norway, trained as usual on Tuesday.
With squad availability more or less settled, the coach is now looking ahead to taking points from the away game at 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday (14.09.19, 15:30 CEST). "We’ve worked well in the past week, despite the international break, and we had a good structure on the pitch in the internal friendly match, so it’s important that we also show that on the weekend," said the 44-year-old, who is keeping his cards close to his chest with regards to tactical changes. “Of course, I do not want to share what conclusions we have drawn from the past week. We want to show a balance of mentality and footballing ability to get the win.”
Hertha will train several times in the coming days in the hopes of increasing their chances of winning three points. The session on Wednesday morning (10:00 CEST) and the final one on Friday (13:00 CEST) are public, the rest will be conducted behind closed doors.