Baumann: "It’s a nice feeling, but it will be tough"

Oliver Baumann was one of Hoffenheim’s star men during the 3-1 win away at Hamburg. We sat down with our no. 1 during the international break to talk about reflexes, self-confidence and the upcoming challenges facing TSG.

Can you try and explain what exactly you can do as a goalkeeper when faced with situations like on Saturday with Gregoritsch and Cleber? Is it reflexes or something you practice?

Oliver Baumann: A bit of both. I think against Gregoritsch there were certainly more reflexes involved. At the end of the day, everything just worked out brilliantly in both situations.

After they got back in the game at 2-1, did you fear that they would come back?

Baumann: I didn’t think about it that much, and the team didn’t panic either – we didn’t get all hectic and we played without fear. That was important for our game – that we keep our heads even if we concede. It’s something that we’ve worked on over the last few weeks and it’s absolutely vital given our current situation.

How nice is it to move out of the automatic relegation places?

Baumann: Obviously it’s a nice feeling to move up the table. We now have the same number of points at Frankfurt and Augsburg, whilst Bremen and Darmstadt only have one point more. Finally we could put together two wins on the bounce, and that obviously gives us a lot of confidence. However, there’s a long way to go to achieve our goal, and it’ll be a tough end to the season.

Since Julian Nagelsmann took over, TSG are fourth in the standings with 13 points from seven games. Is that motivation or do you not pay attention to things like that?

Baumann: We haven’t spoken about it in the dressing room, but obviously the last few games and the points that we’ve picked up have given us a lot of confidence. We have to stay on this track.

Köln and Frankfurt await after the international break – how are you preparing for the upcoming challenges?

Baumann: They are two very important games for us and so we have to prepare for them exactly as we have in recent weeks. We were able to use our home advantage to good effect in the last two home matches and we want to do the same against Köln. Frankfurt are a direct rival in the fight for survival, and it’ll certainly be an intense game because of the atmosphere – that’s something we have to block out and we need to try and bring our own game, just like we did in Hamburg. We can’t let ourselves get distracted by the atmosphere or by the home fans.

What are your plans for the Easter break?

Baumann: It’s nice to have some time to ourselves and with our families. I’ll probably stay in Heidelberg with my girlfriend and just relax a little bit.


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