Benjamin Hübner: "We want to remain unbeaten"

Benjamin Hübner transferred to TSG in the summer from Ingolstadt and has since been in the starting eleven twice, a good enough reason to speak with the centre-back. Hübner spoke in an interview about Julian Nagelsmann, his start to life in Hoffenheim, his development as a player and of course the upcoming match against Bayer Leverkusen this Saturday.

To start off with we have to clarify something: Benni, Hubi, Hübstar – what do you prefer?

Benjamin Hübner: You can call me whatever you want. I’ve got a few nicknames here already at TSG but I prefer to be called Hübi or Benni, both work. I’m open to either as long as I’m not given another nickname.

It took a while for you to make your first appearance for TSG. What are the reasons for this?

Hübner: It’s not easy to point out the reasons for this. Of course, you need time to adjust to a move like this. It wasn’t so easy for me at the beginning. But then I noticed that I was starting to understand things. I kept trying my hardest and people picked up on that.

Julian Nagelsmann said that he’s been speaking to you a lot.

Hübner: That’s right. We have been in constant contact. He explained the situation to me and didn’t put me under any pressure. In fact, this period of adjustment is normal for him. He explained that I have to get used to his style of football. That really helped me in this difficult phase.

You have been picked for the starting eleven twice now…

Hübner: That was unbelievably important for me. I want to be on the pitch and help the team, it’s a great feeling. Winning the three points in both matches topped it off.

How pleased are you personally with the two games?

Hübner: They went well. I was out of the squad for quite a while, then went straight into the starting eleven. That was not especially easy, as I was of course lacking rhythm in my play, but despite that I am pleased with how things went. Still, though, there is a lot of room to improve.

Against Freiburg you came off with a knock – what happened and how are you doing now?

Hübner: I took a hit to the ankle and could not continue. I tried to carry on playing but the pain would not shift, so I had to come off. In the last few days I have been working with the physios a lot – we have managed to get the swelling down and I have been able to train with the team again.

On Saturday, there is the task of overcoming Bayer Leverkusen. Chicharito, Volland, Mehmedi, Calhanoglu, Brand – are you expecting a difficult game?

Hübner: Certainly. It is an impressive array of names and we know the quality that those players have. But Leverkusen are not just strong going forward. They have excellent players right across the team and we know that we have to expect a tough challenge. I watched Leverkusen’s match against Spurs on Tuesday evening. It was a very good game and Bayer really could have taken all three points.

With three consecutive wins, do you think the team will be going into the game against Leverkuen with a lot of confidence?

Hübner: Of course. We are undefeated and are coming off three wins in a row, so everyone is feeling very confident. We want to come away from the match with our unbeaten record intact.

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