Valentino, Hertha were in eighth place at the winter break but you've dropped down to 11th place since then. How do you assess your season?
"Mediocre. We've put in a few good performances − notably in the first half of the season − and delivered positive results against Gladbach, Frankfurt and Bayern. There have been some strong displays since the winter break too such as the victory in Gladbach and the narrow defeat against BVB. But all in all, we've not been consistent enough and things have taken a downward turn. That needs to improve."
The first leg against TSG ended 3-3. You equalised late on with a spectacular strike. What are your memories of the first meeting between the two teams this season?
"It was a very intense and interesting match. It was highly emotional, in large part of course due to the late equaliser. It was certainly a fun one to play in."
Are you expecting a similarly spectacular and attacking game on Sunday?
"We'll have to see. The requirements are slightly different now compared to before Christmas. We need to ensure that we arrest our slide after losing four consecutive matches. This is the first opportunity to do so."
You've been playing at right-back since this season and no longer in midfield. How has that changed the way you play?
"It's not as if the position is entirely new to me, because I've already played there for the Austrian national team. But of course, playing in this position brings with it considerably more defensive responsibilities than a more advanced role would. And obviously there's further to go to get into attacking positions. But I still feel happy there and I can integrate well into our game."
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