Gisdol was a little puzzled about the upcoming opponents: “There were seven changes in their starting XI between the previous game and the one before so we don't know exactly who we will be facing. One thing for sure, is that Hertha are a good team with a very dangerous attack.”
The manager isn't concerned that his team will take their foot off the accelerator against the side from Berlin after their successful run of results in the busy period ended with a 3-3 draw at Bayern. “There have been occasions this season when people could have thought that the lads would take their foot off accelerator, but that simply hasn't happened”, said Gisdol. “We wanted to take this good feeling into the final weeks. The team will step on the gas.”
Gisdol: “100% on the same wavelength”
In regard to their goal record of 63:62, he explained: “Our game will remain just as full of risks as it did against other teams. Therefore it only works when we're all on the same wavelength. We strive to score more goals than the opponents.” Eugen Polanski lies at the centre of this. The central midfielder is crucial to TSG's game and is always called to the touchline by Gisdol during a match when there's a change of tactics. “Eugen has taken on a lot of responsibility and still manages to score goals. He is the heart of the team in this central midfield position”, said Gisdol, praising the Poland international. However, Polanski wouldn't label himself as a leader. “I give my all on the pitch and success for the team comes separately. If others want to call me a leader then that's okay. That's completely normal for me.”
For Polanski, success in Berlin will depend mainly on the team's self-confidence and attitude. “If you want to win a game in the Bundesliga, you can only do that when you are fully prepared and are 100% focused on the pitch. Then you can win.” A self-fulfilling prophecy indeed.
Abraham and Schipplock both miss out
Gisdol was unable to say on Thursday who would start in goal for TSG in the capital city. Koen Casteels is fit again after his insect bite and Jens Grahl has a thigh strain after the match against Bayern.
The manager has major concerns about other players. Both David Abraham (thigh) and Sven Schipplock (muscular problems due to a nerve inflammation) are definitely out. Anthony Modeste is “very doubtful” according to Gisdol. The French striker sustained a “serious thigh strain” in Munich. Things are looking better with Sejad Salihovic though – he could be fit again after his bruised knee. Could he become TSG's record goalscorer in the Bundesliga with a goal against his former club? The Bosnian scored twice in the narrow defeat against Hertha in the corresponding fixture earlier this season…