Baumann: "We need to hit the ground running"

TSG Hoffenheim started their preparations for the rest of the 2023/2024 season on 2 January. At the start of training, captain Oliver Baumann spoke about the short winter break and the first session of the new year, and also looked ahead to the second half of the campaign.

Oli, first of all, a happy and healthy new year. How did you spend the short winter break?

"I was on holiday in the sunshine. The time out was very important because the last half a year has been very intense and only offered a few moments to switch off. The break did me good, now I'm raring to go for the remainder of the season."

How was the first training session of 2024?

"The weather was mediocre, but the mood in the team is good. You could sense that the boys are up for it again. Everyone had time with their family and with their friends over Christmas and the New Year, that always gives you strength."

What needs to be even better in the second half-season for a successful campaign?

"We're not in a bad position in the table, but we could be doing a bit better overall. We haven't won enough home games, so we definitely want to give our fans more points in the second half-season. We also need a certain level of consistency and have to decrease the number of goals we let in. So we have a few challenges, but only a short preparation period. That's why we have to hit the ground running."

The results after the winter break were not right last season, can you learn any lessons from that?

"The entirety of last season helps, it shaped us all – nobody wants to experience a season like that for a second time. We want to continue our improvement as a team. We were extremely frustrated following the 3-3 draw against Darmstadt. I think that's a very good thing because it spurs us on to produce better performances in the future."

What are your personal wishes for the second half-season?

"Fundamentally, I want to continue where I left off. A few games without conceding a goal would of course be good for the statistics too, because that would always have a bearing on the success of the whole team too."

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