The routine is always the same for Hertha BSC in the days after a match. Alongside an analytical breakdown of the 90 minutes, the unused substitutes return to training while those who played go through their recovery work. After that, the head coach faces the media in a virtual press conference, to give his current thoughts and to answer questions. After Sunday’s game in Bielefeld, Bruno Labbadia sat at his desk on Monday (11/01/21) to do just that. “We had high expectations for ourselves and are definitely dissatisfied to have played the way we did. We had a chance to take a step forward and move away from the bottom, and we know that we have let that slip away,” said Labbadia to start his press conference, in which he also gave details on his injured players.
Uncertainty over Cunha return
Things ought to go better out on the pitch in Cologne this weekend (16/01/21, 15:30 CET). Obviously it is difficult to predict which players will be available so early in the week, but Labbdia gave an update on current developments nonetheless. Matheus Cunha was forced to miss the match in Bielefeld at short notice due to a persistent groin issue. “We still can’t say too much on that; we have to wait for the doctor’s diagnosis and feedback from Matheus himself. It’s still uncertain whether he will be an option for Cologne at all,” explained Labbadia. Jessic Ngankam (muscle problem) and Marvin Plattenhardt (adductor problem) were forced off in the game against Bielefeld and the injuries were sufficient enough to prevent them from joining in with training on Monday. Eduard Löwen and Marton Dárdai, who missed out on places in the matchday squad due to last-minute muscular issues, also missed training as a precaution. So too did Javairô Dilrosun, for whom "it will be a little while until he is available to us again,” according to Labbadia.
Boyata making progress, Leckie returns
Captain Dedryck Boyata is making steps in the right direction, however. The Belgian has been able to do away with the protective boot that he has been wearing recently. "We now have to wait for the next two or three days to see how he manages. On Friday he said to me that he could feel it improving,” said Labbadia. Whether the defender is available again next week, when Hertha face two matches in quick succession, is currently “hard to say”. There is also positive news regarding Mathew Leckie; the Australian is back working with his teammates after overcoming an ab strain. He offers Labbadia another option ahead of the start of full-team training on Wednesday (13/01/21).