Firstly, the good news, you are back and playing again. How happy are you about this?
Jiloan Hamad; Obviously I am really happy to be back on the pitch. I was injured for a long time. After my knee injury it took seven months to finish my rehabilitation, as time and again there were difficult patches. Although I always tried to smile and be positive, which was really important throughout. It really helped having the support of my family, friends and TSG during these tough periods. In times such as those, it is important to stay positive. Mind you, it is even more important in situations when things are going well anyway.
Was your goal against Leverkusen a reward for your long and hard work?
Hamad: It was a lovely moment. At the start of my rehabilitation, I had a dream to get back out on the pitch and play in the Bundesliga again. That fact that I also scored a goal was unbelievable. It’s a shame that we didn’t win the game. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed every second I spent on the pitch.
Unfortunately things aren’t going well for TSG. After two difficult games, you now have matches against other teams in the relegation battle. How will you manage in the next few weeks?
Hamad: I will obviously be positive, how else would I be? I am convinced by our strength of character and our plans. We all have to work together - meaning that every player must play as well as they can or better. Then we will be able to win games in the next few weeks.
It was difficult for you in the first leg, because they did nothing but defend for 90 minutes? What can you do against that kind of tactics?
Hamad: Darmstadt do it well, they are unconventional. They know their game inside out and are good at what they do. We have to respect them and accept it. It’s important for us that we get through the match. We must be motivated, work together well and counter quickly. We need to do it when we attack, if we want to break Darmstadt down. We can’t let ourselves be drawn into their style of football, as it will only make it harder for us.
What do you expect from yourselves on Sunday?
Hamad: We need the will to win. Everyone must want to do everything they possibly can to win the match. Everyone must fight, work hard and play good football. Then we can take all three points.