David Abraham: "Sliding in is a last resort"

Sliding in as a last resort, thinking quicker than opponents, learning new things until his final game and the special feeling of playing in Europe - in an interview with, David Abraham spoke to us about quick opposition players, the end-of-season run-in and the upcoming game in Frankfurt.

Hello David, how is your calf and when will you be back in team training?

David Abraham: My calf feels good again. I haven’t been able to return to team training today but I’ll be back on Wednesday. I trained individually today and received treatment on my calf.

You put in a good performance against Dortmund and the defence had the pacy BVB attack under control. What’s the best way to defend against quick players like Aubameyang?

Abraham: You have to always stay tight to them and think quicker than them. Everyone knows that he is quick and his teammates try to utilise his pace and use it to their advantage by playing long balls over the top. As a defender, you have to anticipate what’s going to happen and bank on the fact that you can react quicker than your opponent.

You were involved in a few foot races and tackles both outside and inside the box. You also slid into tackles on a few occasions. Do you commit fully in those instances or do you only go in when you’re 100% sure that you will get the ball? 

Abraham: Sliding in is definitely a last resort. When I know that the striker has a small advantage over me, that I can’t outrun him and that a slide tackle is the only option then I have to do it. But I have to be certain that I’ll win the ball. If that’s not the case then I’ll leave it as I don’t want to risk giving away a penalty and compromising the team.

How important is it for you to win your first tackle in a game?

Abraham: It’s not the first tackle of the game that is important for me. It’s more important to remain alert for the whole game and to win all or the majority of my tackles. I don’t feel different or uncertain if I lose my first tackle and I have just as much confidence.

You are the oldest player at TSG. In what way do you feel that you can still continue to learn from a footballing point of view?

Abraham: You never stop learning. I’ve learnt so much during my time at Hoffenheim – every day at training and in Bundesliga games. I’ll continue to learn right up until the final game of my career.  

There are still three games to go – what would make this a perfect season?

Abraham: I’m hoping to start all three remaining games. That’s my personal aim. From a team and club point of view, I’m hoping that we can qualify for the Europa League. It would be great to be able to play in Europe.

You’ve already played in the Champions League with FC Basel. What are the best things about playing in Europe?

Abraham: As a player, you can tell straight away when you’re playing in Europe. It’s quite special and the games feel different to league fixtures. Everyone watches your game. And the best thing of course is to stand on the pitch and hear the Champions League anthem with the whole ground stood up. It’s unbelievable and then you realise that you are actually there. It’s a wonderful feeling.

You travel to Frankfurt on Saturday. What are you expecting from the game? 

Abraham: It’ll be a tough match. They provide good opposition and have already shown that they have quality in their side. It’ll be a battle, just as it was against Dortmund. But I’m hoping that this time we can come out on top and win the game.

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