Gisdol expects cup opponents Aumund-Vegesack to be “disciplined and dirty”

The wait finally comes to an end on Saturday, August 3rd at 15.30 CET. TSG start their competitive season with the first round of the German Cup against Aumund-Vegesack. “As a manager, you always want a bit longer to prepare,” said Markus Gisdol. The man at the helm of Hoffenheim will now begin the real work after six weeks of build-up, full of training sessions and friendly matches. “It's good that things are getting underway again though. That way you can weigh things up and see where you stand.”

Hoffenheim won't be travelling anywhere new on Saturday. SG Aumund-Vegesack will welcome TSG to the so-called “Pitch 11” near to SV Werder Bremen's Weserstadion. The fourth-division side finished third in the Bremen league last season, but manager Gisdol doesn't think that Hoffenheim's label of clear favourites is relevant. “We will show our opponents respect. We have to do that otherwise we won't be able to deliver a top-class performance.”

The TSG management haven't left anything to chance and have left no stone unturned trying to collate some video material of their opponents. Gisdol has been able to analyse three complete matches in order to get familiar with the hosts' characteristics. “We'll be facing a tactically disciplined side,” said Gisdol. “On top of that, Aumund-Vegesack know how to get stuck in. They certainly won't give us a warm welcome. They can play dirty.” Nevertheless, Gisdol is not running scared. “We are exactly where we wanted to be in terms of our preparation.”

Recent friendly successes

Pre-season and the fact that TSG have picked up two convincing wins in their last three friendlies (3-0 against APOEL Nicosia and 4-1 against Olympiacos), as well as a respectable 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao, will put the manager in a confident mood ahead of the match against the underdogs.

The Kraichgau side will travel up north without Sejad Salihovic though. The Bosnian has undergone some training after his knee problems but Saturday comes around too soon for an appearance. Sali will rejoin team training over the next week and should be available again for the opening Bundesliga game of the 2013/14 season against 1. FC Nürnberg a week on Saturday.

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