Babbel: “Convert potential into quality”

During the mid-week fixtures, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim face Nürnberg away at 20.45 CET on Wednesday. Hoffenheim are on the verge of their 150th Bundesliga game and are currently in front in their head-to-head with Nürnberg, having won three, draw two and lost only one. Despite a run of unconvincing performances, the manager and the sporting director remain both positive and realistic. “We've got to balance everything, do all we can and get back that bit of luck”, said manager Markus Babbel in Tuesday's press conference.

TSG's manager demands focus and concentration on the game from his team. He emphasises though: “We are in a tough situation at the moment but we have the chance to win three points in a difficult game against a tricky opponent. Our team have great potential and now is the time to convert that into quality and points.” Looking at his opponents, Markus Babbel remarked: “Nürnberg have a great deal of quality, have a good squad and are aggressive. They won't gift us anything and are a side that knows how to fight. We must battle against this.” Nürnberg's season has also not gone entirely to plan. After a good start, Hecking's side fell to 15th in the league and in Hoffenheim, face a side in a similar spot.

Sporting director Andreas Müller didn't deviate from his belief in the team: “We have lads in whom we have full confidence but they must concentrate in order to show on the pitch what they do in training. The truth is that the team are developing. I can see the steps they are taking despite the difficult situation. Alongside that, we must start winning and I hope the side can show their progress.”

TSG's squad remains with absentees. Chris (muscle tear) is still in fitness training and, along with the absent Jannik Vestergaard (collateral ligament tear) and Stefan Thesker (bone oedema), Filip Malbasic (compressed vertebral joint) is also out. Tim Wiese, who picked up a part tear in the inside of his right knee joint, is the other name on the injury list.

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