FIRST TEAM
07.10.2018

Hübner: "I'm trying to help the new signings"

Benjamin Hübner joined TSG Hoffenheim two years ago and started his spell at the club with a training camp in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Speaking in an interview, the 29-year-old recalls his difficult start, explains how he's helping the new signings to settle in and discusses his objectives for the season.

Benni, you've been at a TSG Hoffenheim training camp in Garmisch-Partenkirchen once before, two years ago, though you were a new arrival back then. Are the memories of your first days at TSG all coming back to you as you train here at the foot of the Alps?

"Absolutely. When I stood on the training pitch for the first time since then on Sunday, I immediately pictured the training camp two years ago in my mind. Back then I had a difficult start at TSG and wasn't able to fully complete the training camp on account of an injury I was suffering from. But obviously that doesn't mean that I can't empathise with how our new signings feel at the moment. For me personally, it was all a bit too much to take in, but the lads seem to be dealing with it a bit better than I did back then." (laughs).

"The lads are dealing with it really well"

What makes it so complicated for new players?

"Julian Nagelsmann gives many players a different insight into football. His views are very particular and that's a big change for the players in comparison to other coaches they've had. They need some time to adapt to that. But the lads are dealing with it really well."

Are you keeping a closer eye on the new signings given the experiences you had?

"Definitely. I'm trying to help them, to encourage them and to tell them that they shouldn't put themselves under pressure and that not everything has to be just right straightaway. It didn't work for me straightaway, it took time and then things developed very positively."

"The matches will be highlights for all of us"

Have you noticed even higher motivation levels among the established players because of the Champions League?

"At the moment, we just want to prepare ourselves as well as possible for the season. But the matches will be absolute highlights for us all, that's clear. The main focus during the training camp is on the fundamentals and not on the Champions League."

The squad is very balanced, there's now a lot of competition for places...

"You can see that in every session since the season started, it's full-throttle. Even the young players are doing a really good job, so far everyone's performed really well.

You qualified for European competition in your first season with TSG, then in your second you made the leap to the Champions League. What's your target for the new season?

"It goes without saying it'll be difficult to better that. But it would be a huge success for TSG Hoffenheim if we can qualify for Europe once again."

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