Hertha Berlin coach Otto
Rehhagel ordered extra training sessions this week as he
prepares for a reunion with former club Werder Bremen on
Saturday, hoping to snap his team's seven-game losing streak.
Hertha, newly-promoted this season, had a good start to
their campaign before collapsing since the winter break, losing
all their seven games in the league and German Cup.
Rehhagel, idolised in Bremen after coaching them for 14
years from 1981-95 and winning domestic and European titles,
failed to turn things around in his Hertha debut last week with
his team losing 3-0 at relegation rivals Augsburg leaving them
in 16th spot, two points above bottom-placed Freiburg.
"For him this is a prestige game," Hertha assistant coach
Rene Tretschok told reporters. "He is very emotional about this
"A win against Bremen would be the best thing for him now."
Rehhagel, 73, returned to the Bundesliga after a 12-year
absence with the mandate of keeping the capital's only
Bundesliga representatives up.
The extra hours on snowy pitches this week were meant to
instil exactly this sense of urgency after 12 games without a
Rehhagel could have defender Christian Lell back in time for
the match after he recovered from a muscle injury.
"We must get rid of that lethargy in our bones," Hertha
goalkeeper Thomas Kraft told reporters after shouting at his
team-mates during training.
"We have to become more aggressive. Everyone of our players
must have motivation and passion now."
"As a goalkeeper I want to shake them so they wake up."
A defeat against Bremen would send Hertha deeper down the
table and raise questions about whether Hertha's third coach
this season, and arguably the most controversial choice for
under-fire manager Michael Preetz, can turn things around.
Champions Borussia Dortmund, four points clear at the top of
the table after their 17-match unbeaten streak, host Mainz 05,
who are undefeated themselves in the last five games.
Title contenders Bayern Munich, in second place, travel to
Bayer Leverkusen, knowing any result other than victory would
severely dent their hopes of a treble this season with the
Bavarians still in the running for the German Cup and the
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010