FIRST TEAM
04.17.2019

Bicakcic: "Our self-belief has increased"

Ermin Bicakcic has had an excellent season and has been one of the key figures in TSG Hoffenheim's bid to secure a third successive European spot. In an interview with achtzehn99.de, the 29-year-old cited his reasons for the fluctuations in the team's performance level throughout the course of the season, discussed the current upswing in form and looked ahead to the remaining games in the final few weeks of the campaign.

Ermin, the season is drawing to a close. What can you still achieve?

"Our triumphs over the course of the past few weeks have once again put us in a promising position. Our aim since the start of the season − to qualify for Europe − has been clear and has not changed. In our remaining games, we will fight to achieve this objective and do everything in our power to ensure we play on the international stage for the third successive season."

Last season, you went up a gear during the run-in and put together an impressive streak in the final few weeks. Does it currently feel a bit like déjà-vu?

"There are parallels, of course. But one cannot expect something like that. It's not always possible to pick up as many points as we did last season, when our tally was sufficient to get us into the Champions League. We've probably already dropped too many points this season for that. But on the other hand, we know that we're stronger that our current points haul suggests. By the end of the season, we want to have significantly improved our average and then will see where it ultimately gets us."

What have been the reasons that you've dropped a lot of points?

"There have been a few things we haven't done as well this season as we did before. Things that set us apart. We perhaps thought that everything was already going smoothly and everyone started to rely on the others. That means that one player might run two metres less in defence and another might run two metres less going forward. It might not sound like a big difference, but that soon becomes not enough as we have seen. We can only be successful if we all attack and all defend together. We've recognised what's made us strong, internalised that once more and that's why we're back on a successful run."

You've recently beaten two direct rivals  Leverkusen and Hertha Berlin  at home. Another two of your competitors  Wolfsburg and Bremen  still need to come to Sinsheim before the season is out. Does that bode well for TSG?

"I think it's good that we still have two home games against our direct rivals. They might be tough tasks, but there is an awful lot to gain from these matches too and we're very difficult to beat at home. In addition, our self-belief has increased even more over the course of the last few weeks. We're feeling good and we're looking forward to every match."

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