Bruno Labbadia doesn’t want a real derby mood. “It would be fantastic if we had a full stadium, because then you would feel completely different yourself, because the whole city would also be excited. So you get very, very little, ”said the Hertha BSC coach on Monday. The Corona crisis also makes the emotional preparation for the city duel with 1. FC Union on Friday (8.45 p.m. / DAZN) in the Bundesliga more difficult.
Nevertheless, the encounter in the empty Olympic Stadium is of course “a special game. There’s a little more salt in the soup, ”said the 54-year-old. The ex-professional quickly ticked off Sunday’s 0-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen and focused on the explosive encounter with the club from Köpenick. “The week is too short for us to spend too long with the game,” said Labbadia looking back. There was also more than one point in it, “if we had been a little more determined,” emphasized the coach.
Before the tenth match day, Union is sixth, surprisingly eight points ahead of Hertha, who are only 13th after a weak start. “It’s twice as nice when you win a derby, but it’s all about the three points,” said Labbadia. The well-formed local rival had “got off to a good start”, acknowledged Labbadia, but then immediately added: “There is no favorite for me.”
Hertha won the last derby so far under Labbadia in May with a clear 4-0. And even if the signs are currently different, the coach said: “You should always look forward to a derby.” The former striker himself still doesn’t feel like a Berliner. “I’ve been here for seven months now and have very little contact with other people at all. I’ve hardly known the city since I’ve been here, “said Labbadia. The reason for this is the corona rules, which he naturally adheres to and avoids contacts. “That’s why the feeling that goes with a derby is completely different,” said Labbadia.
In terms of sport, the preparation began on Monday. The fact that Union has one more day to regenerate after the 3: 3 on Saturday against Eintracht Frankfurt does not play a major role. “It’s hard to say why they’re doing better,” said Labbadia. Striker Max Kruse is “certainly a guarantee”, but it would be too easy to just pick the former national player. “You just do it well,” said Labbadia about the iron and then admitted to Kruse: “He can decide games when he’s on the field.”
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The 32-year-old has six goals and five assists so far. Although Kruse wasn’t signed until the summer, he has quickly become a leader. Hertha is currently missing just such a player type and is still looking for a hierarchy. Labbadia continues to work meticulously on progress and does not plan any experiments. “We’ll do it the same way we always do,” he said.
It is still open whether Omar Alderete will be available. The 23-year-old had a bruise near his hip in Leverkusen and was absent from training on Monday. “We hope that he can play again by Friday,” said Labbadia.
| Updated: Monday November 30, 2020 2:51 PM