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.