Bild: Herthabsc

"I can see the players' development!"

Head coach Bruno Labbadia spoke to the media on Wednesday (11/11/20) about young talents at Hertha BSC and the structure of his team.

Berlin – The third international break of the season is well underway, meaning Bruno Labbadia only had a small training squad on Wednesday afternoon at Schenckendorffplatz. “We done a few things and the first two days have gone really well. The lads are highly focused,” praised the Hertha head coach, who has just 12 players available to him at the moment. Labbadia spoke to the media virtually after training about the young talent at the club, the development of the side’s structure and when Lucas Tousart and Jordan Torunarigha will return.

Bruno Labbadia on…

... the first two training sessions this week: They went really well. We have already done a few things, including a stabilisation session on Wednesday morning and then some video analysis. We showed the lads some good scenes from the Augsburg game and worked on them again directly after in training. This has been good in both days so far. We would obviously rather work with the whole team, but we are just using this time to work individually with players and work on specific areas. We have the chance to work on small things now. The lads know that they will be getting the weekend off – I’m always honest about things like this. They’re looking forward to it, but they are still fully focused right now.

… the battle between Vladimir Darida and Niklas Stark on Wednesday night: Even though as a club coach I’d like to have my whole team here at all times, I understand why people see playing for their national sides as something special. I can totally understand that. Regarding Vladi, he played in all three games during the last international break – he can play a lot of football. Playing against Germany is always special too. I would think that he will be highly motivated and I’m looking forward to the game. Czech Republic have a good squad, even if they don’t have that many big names. I think they have a great mentality, which is why I enjoy watching games like this – and I hope Vladi does well.

… the support of young players at Hertha: As a coach, I enjoy bringing players from the youth team and incorporating them into the first team. I also like that from a personal point of view. Nowadays, it isn’t always easy for a coach and the player because there are so many different factors involved. Therefore I’m always pleased to bring in clear-headed players. For example, I was very pleased for Márton Dárdai – his Bundesliga debut was just the beginning and the bigger picture will take a while. I hope the players can remain patient. However, I also don’t have any problem with throwing a 17 or 18 year old in at the deep end. The better the structure in a team works, the easier it is to bring on a young player for a half, or even a full game. That’s where we need to improve a little. I think Hertha is a club that does well at brining in young and talented players. That’s what every club wants to do, regardless of finances. Since the start of the season we’ve been working closely with four very young players and every day you see the development, sometimes a step backwards too, because it may take a while for a player to adapt. But I hope the players realise that we want to work with them and support them. That is important.

Márton Dárdai (left) with Bruno Labbadia after his Bundesliga debut.

… the development of a new structure within the team: We hoped that it would have gone a bit quicker at the start of the season, but we were prepared for the development to last a while. The axis of a team is one of the most important features. From the first seven Bundesliga games, five and a half were good. However, the results haven’t shown that. Our development will still take time but what I am pleased about at the moment is the way we are on the ball – we showed that against Augsburg. We have worked on our positional play and the way we want to play football. We showed that in the second half against Wolfsburg, but the important thing is that we get the results to match. In the process that we’re currently in, we have to continue to improve and try to deliver better results. That means work, but I’m really up for it because I can see the players’ development, and it is legitimate. We are working on cementing our development and consolidating. The players are also very determined and success brings us further because they realise that everything is working. Belief and conviction are essential in this game.

… another disruption after the international break: The first two international breaks were tough for us – for example with players in quarantine. That was inconvenient and disrupted out preparation for the upcoming games. Therefore, we lacked a bit of energy in the game. Of course, I hope that won't be the case again this time. We will try to get the best out of the players we have available, and we want our national players to get game time and return without injury.

Jordan Torunarigha and Lucas Tousart: With Jordan, we have to wait for the next coronavirus test and see when he can return. Lucas was in rehabilitation training during the past few weeks and completed a final test on Wednesday. When he gets the go ahead from the doctors, he can start training individually.”

Teams, 11.11.2020