Rosen: "Now we want to seize the opportunity"

Ahead of their meeting with Borussia Dortmund on Saturday (15:30 CET/Live Ticker at, TSG Hoffenheim have already secured themselves a Europa League qualifying berth. If the Kraichgau club can now get a better result than VfL Wolfsburg on the final day, they will leapfrog the Wolves into sixth spot. Prior to the last game of the season, director of football Alexander Rosen spoke about the opposition, the dream of finishing sixth and what has made the 2019/20 campaign unique.

Alexander Rosen on…

…the opposition: "We're talking about the second-best team in Germany. We all have fond memories of the 2-1 win in Dortmund and the 3-1 victory two years ago. But the past doesn't count for anything. I'm focusing much more on our team's recent matches and training sessions. On Saturday, we want to put ourselves in the position to finish sixth in the table. We can't do any more than that."

…the mood within the camp: "The mental strength of our team is demonstrated above all by our current form. We should actually have been commencing our preparations for the 2020/21 season in a week and instead we're only playing the final matchday now. In the past few matches we have moved away from the position of hunter and towards being definite Europa League starters. Now we want to seize the opportunity."

…the dream of sixth place: "We obviously want to move up to sixth place. In a normal season, the benefits of sixth place would be even more pronounced. Next season, the qualifying matches will not start until September. Nonetheless, it is our objective to qualify for the group stage directly. There's a financial aspect to it as well."

…the personnel situation: "We're spoilt for choice. None of the players who have played have been disappointing. We want to adhere to the principles that we have demonstrated recently. That's made us strong and given us the feeling we're on the right track. We have different players and different qualities. That gives us alternatives."

…the season as a whole: "We had a big overhaul in the summer. Many things needed time. That makes it all the more remarkable that we've already qualified for the Europa League. The team really found their flow after the win in Munich and we were very much in touching distance over the winter break. Then we struggled slightly, but we're currently the third-best team since the corona break. It's been a season of fits and starts."

…the planning for next season: "Planning a pre-season is currently very demanding. We're expecting the season to start in mid-September. After the long season, the lads will need a break first of all. They'll be given at least four weeks free to clear their heads. It's going to be a mammoth task next season."

Head-to-head record:

Matchday 34 meetings with Borussia Dortmund have almost become a Bundesliga tradition for TSG Hoffenheim. The Kraichgau club avoided relegation on the final day of the 2012/13 season thanks to two late Sejad Salihović penalties, then beat Dortmund 3-1 in 2018 to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time.

The opposition's form:

Head coach Lucien Favre's team were in title contention for much of the season but ultimately lost out to FC Bayern Munich in the race for the Bundesliga shield. Borussia Dortmund's 2-0 victory at RB Leipzig last Saturday confirmed that they will finish the campaign as runners-up.


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