The Bundesliga is almost back as the international break comes to a close. 14 of the 24 games involving Hertha’s international players are completed. The rest will be played in the next three days before Thursday (18/11/20), when the whole squad’s focus turns to the challenge of facing Borussia Dortmund. Head coach Bruno Labbadia led training on Monday afternoon (16/11/20) ahead of the game against BVB. “We’ve been working really well with the players who’ve stayed here, combining intensity and enjoyment. That’s made it really fun. We’ve carried on seamlessly from where we left it last week,” the head coach told the media after training.
Tousart is back, wait and see with Torunarigha
After Labbadia only had ten outfield players and two goalkeepers to work with last week, the 54-year-old was pleased to see the return of Lucas Tousart on Monday. The Frenchman suffered a knee injury in the game against Wolfsburg and has been missing since. “Lucas has made better progress than we expected. He took part in most of team training on Monday. It’s looking good. Both he and the doctors are positive about how he’s getting on. There’s a chance that he’ll take part on Saturday,” said Labbadia. Jordan Torunarigha, on the other hand, continued to be absent. The central defender has been training individually since his self-isolation ended. “We need to see with Jordan how much progress he’s made in his recovery from injury. We couldn’t work with him for two weeks because he had coronavirus, so we need to see where he’s at and when he’ll be able to re-join the squad,” explained the head coach.
The focus of the two-hour training session was team tactics. The 13 players took part in various passing and combination drills, with Labbadia interrupting occasionally to correct the players and highlight solutions for certain situations. The boys then split into small groups dependent on their playing position to fine-tune individual strengths. The head coach took attackers Mathew Leckie, Jessic Ngankam and Daishwan Redan in his group in front of goal. Defenders, including Maximilian Mittelstädt, worked with assistant coach Eddy Sözer on build-up play, whilst the set-piece specialists, including Marvin Plattenhardt and Eduard Löwen, focused on dead-ball situations. “We’ve given each player lots of time and worked brilliantly with an individual focus,” said Labbadia, clearly pleased with how the first session of the week went.
The boys will continue to train daily over the next few days in Berlin, aiming to further their detailed work. The ‘Old Lady’ is looking to be as prepared as possible to face BVB on Saturday night (21/11/20, 20:30 CET).