Vedad Ibisevic: “Will be a tough battle”

Vedad Ibisevic has found his groove at Hertha BSC. Following some promising performances last season, he has really hit the ground running with some fantastic displays so far this campaign. Ahead of his return to Sinsheim to face his old club TSG on Sunday, we spoke with the Hertha BSC striker on his current run, their start to the season and the encounter with Hoffenheim.

Vedad, Hertha are currently in third place and have successfully booked a spot in the round of 16 of the DFB Cup. A pretty good start to the season, wouldn’t you say?

Vedad Ibisevic: We are obviously very happy about our good start to the season, but we’re able to stay grounded. We’ve only played eight Bundesliga games so far and there’s still a long season ahead. But still, it’s a good start.

Had you ever expected to start so well? Towards the end of last season Hertha appeared to be struggling.

Ibisevic: We certainly learned from that. Should we encounter a similar situation again, I’m sure that we won’t let the same thing happen.

To what extent is Pal Dardai responsible for your success?

Ibisevic: Our manager knows exactly how to deal with us players and, together with his assistant managers, he prepares us perfectly each week for the upcoming match and the opponent. So far, we’ve been able to execute quite successfully.

It’s been going well for you personally too with six goals and three assists in the league. Is it fair to say that the ‘Hoffenheim Ibisevic’ has returned?

Ibisevic: Yes, maybe. I feel good personally and it’s a lot of fun to play with this team. Everyone knows how they can contribute in the best way in order to be successful as a team.

Your next match is amazingly a “top-of-the-table” clash at Hoffenheim. Are you looking forward to the encounter with your former club?

Ibisevic: It’s always special to play against a former club and perhaps I had the best spell of my career in the early days with Hoffenheim. But unfortunately many of the players from that time are no longer here. That’s why I’ve lost contact with TSG a bit.

What have you seen from Hoffenheim so far this season and what do you expect on the pitch?

Ibisevic: They have a quality team and their development under Julian Nagelsmann has been impressive. I therefore expect a very tough battle.

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