Breitenreiter: "We're starting from scratch again"

Full of excitement for the New Year: prior to the match at Union Berlin (Saturday at 15:30 CET / Live Ticker at, head coach André Breitenreiter spoke about the opposition, the long preparations and the options in the squad.

André Breitenreiter on…

…the match on Saturday: "I'm expecting an intense match. The atmosphere at the Alte Försterei is always emotional. We must keep a cool head and cannot allow ourselves any simple possession losses. However, we want to play with courage; that's our philosophy. Union Berlin are very clinical, so we have to be careful in our counter-pressing. We're well prepared and with the quality in our team, we want to leave Berlin with something tangible."

…Union Berlin: "The last competitive games were a few months ago already. All the teams are starting from scratch. Union will also approach the game positively. The negative results before the break won't play a role anymore now. Union are very compact and press very aggressively. They're also enormously dangerous from high balls."

…the preparations: "We used the long break to train in blocks. We wanted to quickly bridge over the period without competitive games. It was important for us to do some fine-tuning in order to improve in certain areas. We cannot afford to make so many individual errors; otherwise it'll get tough. In addition, chance conversion was an important aspect of our training. The boys pulled together brilliantly and also went to the limits that are required in order to fulfil their potential. We then went into more detail during the training camp in Portugal. We're well prepared and are now full of excitement for the next match."

…the new options in the squad: "I'm happy that we've gained an additional option in Ihlas Bebou. We want to play ambitious football and have signed a talented striker in Kasper Dolberg. Kasper has settled in well, he has already shown glimpses in training of the huge potential he has. We had a long talk between the two of us yesterday. I'm sure that he can help us by scoring goals. It is not about him scoring three goals in every game, but rather that the path is important."

…transfer activities: "It's obviously never nice for a coach when you lose such a talented player like Georginio. But that's the approach that TSG stand for. That's what makes us a highly exciting club for talented youngsters. That's the identity of the club and I strongly identify with it. Furthermore, we're liaising closely about what could still make sense for us this winter and whether we will react to the departure."

The personnel situation:

TSG will be without Grischa Prömel and Jacob Bruun Larsen on Saturday.

The opposition's form:

Union Berlin occupy fifth place in the table after 15 rounds of matches and are in touching distance of the Champions League places. Their record could be even better, but Urs Fischer's team have taken only four points from their last five Bundesliga matches and were ousted from top spot in the table.

The head-to-head record:

The two clubs have gone head-to-head on six occasions in the Bundesliga. TSG were victorious in the first two matches but have not won since (two draws and two defeats). Nonetheless, Hoffenheim have scored at least one goal in every meeting.


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