It looks to be a hefty week for the Hertha BSC players. They have ten training sessions planned for the next two weeks and also a friendly against Arminia Bielefeld (09/01/19, 14:00 CET) and the Telekom Cup on Sunday (13/01/19) in Düsseldorf. “We will work on our pressing game a lot this week. Training will be very intense and we will demand aggression, but will intervene if something is wrong. We can coach a lot on the training ground,” said Pál Dárdai on Monday morning, after his players had finished their first session of the week. One thing is noticeable from the training that begun on the 3rd January – the ball is being used already. “The boys have kept in shape well and the results from the performance diagnostics were good, so we have been able to train a lot with the ball,” said Dárdai.
In comparison to before the winter break, there was some good injury news. Karim Rekik, who has not played a game for the club since November, is back in training. “Karim had a long break in the first half of the season. He has to first return to training with us, then, he needs to work on fitness in order to play,” explained Dárdai, who is excited to have his centre-back back. “It was a great feeling to be back on the grass with the lads,” said the 24-year-old with a big smile on his face. Valentino Lazaro (ankle) and Davie Selke (calf), who both have minor injuries begun the week by training individually. Marko Grujić continued his work towards his comeback by training with the fitness coach Hendrik Vieth. “It is nice, that he is back on the pitch. But the earliest he will be back will be for the game against Schalke 04,” warned the head coach.
A return for Javairô Dilrosun should be in the near future but a date is still undecided. “We need to wait and see,” said Dárdai. The Dutchman has been training individually. Derrick Luckassen is still with his home club in Eindhoven, whilst Marius Gersbeck completed one session with goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry. Salomon Kalou returned to first team training on Saturday.
There is nothing standing in the way of the Ivorian to play in the friendly against 2. Bundesliga team Bielefeld in two days (14:00 CET). “Some players have to play 70 minutes to get their rhythm back. We need these friendlies to be ready for our first competitive game,” revealed the head coach. “We need the Telekom Cup because football under pressure is a completely different ballgame.”
Hertha BSC will play two 45 minute games at the Telekom Cup in Düsseldorf. The first game will be against Borussia Mönchengladbach (14:10 CET) and then Hertha will play the winners of Fortuna Düsseldorf and Bayern München in the final. If the game is a draw after 45 minutes, penalties will be used to decide the winners. Matchday 18, the first game of the second half of the season will see Dárdai’s XI face FC Nürnberg (20/01/19, 15:30 CET). Only five days later, Hertha will welcome Schalke 04 to the Olympiastadion (25/01/19, 20:30 CET).