Hertha Berlin's promotion
last year feels like a fast-fading memory as they go into
Saturday's home game with champions Borussia Dortmund desperate
to avoid a fifth straight Bundesliga defeat.
Haunted by the fear of relegation after last week's 5-0
demolition by VfB Stuttgart, Hertha reacted by sacking coach
Michael Skibbe after he suffered his fifth defeat in five games
in all competitions since taking took over in December.
Hertha, in 15th place just two points off the drop zone, are
now looking for their third coach this season after Skibbe
succeeded Markus Babbel who steered them back into the top
flight but was then fired following a public spat over his
Interim coaches Rene Tretschok and Ante Covic will be on the
bench in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday hoping they
can drag the 'Old Lady' out of this crisis.
"I have told my players to shut their eyes and imagine the
game against the German champions on Saturday, 70,000 people in
the stadium," said Tretschok.
"This goosebump feeling is what we want to achieve so that
the boys do what they have learned to do and why they came to
Hertha in the first place."
The Berlin side will have their work cut out against leaders
Dortmund who are unbeaten in 15 league games and have won four
of their last five away games.
The champions have not dropped a point in four Bundesliga
matches this year, despite missing injured playmaker Mario
Gotze, to surge two points clear of second-placed Bayern
"Dortmund have a fantastic team and they have a bit of a
tailwind at the moment," said Tretschok. "But we will put our
own strengths into the mix and then we will see what comes out.
"The spotlight is on us nationwide and it is important we
present ourselves positively and also get a positive result,"
said Tretschok who won the Champions League with Dortmund in
Bayern, on 44 points from 21 games, travel to bottom club
Freiburg on Saturday when third-placed Borussia
Monchengladbach, on 43, also visit lowly Kaiserslautern.
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