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21.12.2018Bundesliga

'It won't be easy to score'

The final game of the year is here. The Werkself entertain Hertha Berlin at the BayArena on Saturday (15.30 CET). Ahead of the home game, Heiko Herrlich fielded questions from the journalists at the pre-match press conference held at the media centre at the BayArena on Friday afternoon. The Werkself head coach spoke about...

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…the personnel situation: "The loss of our two long-term injured players Panos Retsos and Joel Pohjanpalo is obvious. Aleksandar Dragovic is  fit enough again to be able to play tomorrow. With Lars Bender we'll see in the final pre-match training session if he'll be available tomorrow or not.“

…the lessons from the 2-1 win against FC Schalke: "After the Frankfurt game we realised we were indecisive at certain moments. Against Schalke, the team showed they are capable of standing up for themselves and giving their all. The Schalke game was definitely not a feast of football but there were a lot of positives nevertheless – for example in the way we created the chances to go 2-0 up against a well-organised side. And I'd like to remind people Dortmund only won the big derby at Schalke 2-1 a few days  before (matchday 13, ed.). Because it's difficult to win at Schalke.

…the challenge: "Hertha are a side that has taken points off top of the table teams and have had problems against teams below them at times. They have an incredibly strong defence, defend very well, are physical and it definitely won't be easy to score against them."

…the approach to the Hertha game: "Tomorrow, the club, every member of staff at Bayer 04 and the fans can expect the team to bust a gut to take all three points."

…Mitchell Weiser: "We're happy to have him here. Last year, Mitch only played three games for Hertha in the second half of the season but I think he's back on track now. He's played enough games since the summer for us to see the qualities he has in his game. He has come on really well but there's still room for improvement. I think he'll obviously want to show what he can do against Hertha tomorrow."

…playing against former teams: "Of course, you always want to show what you're capable of playing against former clubs. At times I played really badly against my former clubs because I was too keen to do well and was absolutely determined to show what I could do. But there were games that were very good. You have to keep calm and find the right balance in games like that."

…Lucas Alario: "He joined us really late last season due to the transfer mix-up. The needless dismissal at FC Köln was definitely a low point for him and it bothered him a lot. But he's scored nine goals in 23 games – I think that's not a bad return for a first season in Germany. He played a lot of games at the start of the season but lacked the luck a striker sometimes needs. But he always puts in a shift and he scored crucial goals against Augsburg and last week against Larnaca – and now he's scored again at Schalke. He's getting more involved in games and I'm happy  he's where he's at now and I think more goals will follow."

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