Lichte: “The task ahead”
Interim head coach Jan-Moritz Lichte on the week’s training and the upcoming friendly against second-division side Darmstadt – Mateta, Ji and Seydel take part in individual training
The Zerofivers took part in their third training session of the week on the grass pitch near the Bruchwegstadion on Thursday morning, during a somewhat turbulent international break. The session was led by assistant coaches Jan-Moritz Lichte and Michael Falkenmayer, just four days after the difficult decision was made to relieve head coach Sandro Schwarz of his duties. The silver lining for the fans in all this was likely to be found on the pitch.
Eleven outfield players and three goalkeepers were on the pitch for the nearly 80-minute long session. The day’s agenda included various drills focused on getting shots on goal and entering into challenges, all complemented by regular advice from the coaches. The fans in attendance kept throwing glances at a nearby pitch, where a small group of players was taking part in individual training under the eye of fitness coach Jonas Grünewald. Jean-Philippe Mateta, Dong-Won Ji and Aaron Seydel (all long-term injuries) were training alongside Phillipp Mwene (knock). Despite the positive impression the quartet left behind during their first public training session, Lichte is not able to call upon them just yet. It remains to be seen when Mateta, Ji and Seydel will be able to return to team training.
“We trained several things over the last few days that we’ve also worked on in the past weeks. We need to improve in these areas,” Lichte said after the session. The interim head coach also addressed the current “unusual situation” that no one would have wished for. “First and foremost, it was important for us to process what had happened. It’s about recognising the role that each of us as an individual may have had in contributing to the current situation. When you looked around the room, you could see how everyone was feeling,” he said. However, Lichte added that it’s important to focus “on the things that we as players, coaches or physiotherapists can influence.” Every individual is more than capable of bettering themselves and to help steer the team in the right direction.
Despite the international break, the Zerofivers have the possibility to do so in a competitive setting on Friday afternoon (16:00 CET) in a friendly against Darmstadt 98. According to Lichte, the squad will be strengthened by a few players from the U23s. “Overall, we want to give most of the lads the chance to play 90 minutes,” Lichte said. What’s important is that “every individual, but also the team as a whole are able to take some positives from the game. That’s our task tomorrow.”