Hertha coach Sandro Schwarz was annoyed by the result of his team’s failed dress rehearsal. He didn’t want to fall into complete dissatisfaction because of this. “I found 60 minutes very good, very neat. We were in control there,” said the 43-year-old after the 2-1 draw against second division West Bromwich Albion at the end of the training camp in England.
One or the other situation could have turned his team into a big chance. On the last day of the training camp, there was a lack of concentration at the back. “We conceded the goals too easily. Still, it was a good test,” said Schwarz.
It was Hertha’s third defeat in England, having also lost to Derby County and Nottingham Forest. There were victories in shorter tests against lower-class teams.
But results in test matches – whether positive or negative – should not be overrated. Even if the start of the competitive game is only a week away. Much more important to the coach is the progress of his professionals and how they internalize the new game system.
“We know it’s still a process in the way we want to play football,” he said. “It won’t be over next week either, just because the cup is about to start. Nevertheless, you see progress, development and more and more automatisms.”
Every training session in England, every test helped. “We are on the way we want it to be,” said Schwarz. After twelve days of intensive work, the pros now have two days off before they continue in Berlin.
There are also a few squad questions that remain unanswered. Jordan Torunarigha and Santiago Ascacíbar were the last to leave the club. Attacking winger Chidera Ejuke was brought in and made his debut against West Bromwich. But further departures are likely and a new centre-forward should also come if possible.
The coach is in close contact with managing director Fredi Bobic, but wants to take it as it comes. “It’s our job in the coaching team to deal with the guys who are there,” said Schwarz. You’ll just have to see what happens next.
Another personnel issue, on the other hand, has been clarified for a few days. Marvin Plattenhardt succeeds Dedryck Boyata as captain. That was not a decision against the Belgian, said Schwarz. “We wanted a change there and Platte is extremely important to the team and the club.”
The 30-year-old full-back has been playing in Berlin since 2014 and towards the end of last season was one of the main guarantors that the league was still managed.