Hoffenheim back on the straight and narrow

Hoffenheim have seen some turbulent days of late. Previous manager Holger Stanislawski left the club last Thursday after the team's shock loss to SpVgg Greuther Fürth in the German Cup and a run of seven matches without a win. But his exit has ushered in the arrival of new manager Markus Babbel, and his first game in charge has given fans reason to be little more optimistic for the future.

Babbel took over the reins of the club last Friday, and took charge of the first team for Saturday's game away at SV Werder Bremen. 1899 took an early lead through Jannik Vestergaard but wee pegged back to 1-1 in the final minute as Marko Arnautovic equalised for the home side. Despite the late equaliser, Babbel was adamant that the draw was a step in the right direction for the club: “The team showed character; it hadn't been an easy week for anyone. They stuck to their task and did everything we asked of them. If we can fine-tune those things in the next few weeks, we'll win games like that”, said the manager after the game.

Midfielder Tobias Weis revealed that Babbel had had a lengthy chat with each individual before the game. “When a new manager comes in, it's like a new beginning. It means every player gets another chance. Now it's about looking forward. The game in Bremen was a good start for us.”

Goalscorer Jannik Vestergaard was something of a wanted man by the media at the final whistle on Saturday. “It was a great feeling to score my first goal”, said the 19-year-old. “But I am a little deflated. The equaliser was totally needless." A day later, however, Vestergaard reflected on a hard-earned point. “Before the game we would have taken a draw. So we're pleased with it now.”

Download Now!
Print Page to top