The hearty derby bankruptcy against Union Berlin literally brought Hertha coach Felix Magath to sleep. “I’ve had nicer mornings and I’ve had a good night’s sleep,” said the 68-year-old on Sunday Picture TV.
After the bitter 1: 4 (0: 1) defeat against the city rivals on Saturday evening, his greatest task would be to strengthen the teamwork, revealed Magath: “How do I get the players to work together on the pitch, to defend themselves together , fight together? Because, and we all agree on that: the way the performance was yesterday, it will of course be difficult for us.”
Especially since a huge gap has opened up between the team and the fans. After the final whistle, angry ultras demanded that the players take off their jerseys and lay them down in front of the east stand. Some pros like left-back Maximilian Mittelstädt and goalkeeper Marcel Lotka followed suit.
“Of course it’s unfortunate,” said Magath. “The frustration of the fans is understandable, but it doesn’t help us in this situation. It’s the most difficult mission of my career.”
In his four weeks in office, he did not identify a general character problem with the players, but: “What has developed is a team that is unfortunately not a team.” He observes almost exclusively “individual actions, nothing happens properly coordinated”.
Magath: “Relegation game against Schalke a dream”
Nevertheless, Magath is still convinced of staying up with Hertha. “It’s in our own hands,” he said, looking ahead to the next three games against direct rivals FC Augsburg, VfB Stuttgart and Arminia Bielefeld: “We mustn’t dwell on the obviously bad defeat for too long. We have to go forward watch.”
When asked whether staying up with Hertha would be a greater achievement than the double with Bayern Munich (2005 and 2006), Magath answered after a moment’s hesitation: “That’s right.” With a view to a potential relegation, he said: “A Hertha relegation game against Schalke would be a dream. A very interesting game.”