Augsburg (AP) – Bruno Labbadia was relieved in the cool fog of Augsburg and allowed himself a bit of a stir. “The 100th win is okay, but not worth mentioning,” the 54-year-old said after his anniversary success.
In fact, Hertha BSC’s 3-0 (1-0) victory at FC Augsburg was a very important victory for Labbadia and his team. After five games without a win, the three calmed the situation at the Bundesliga club before the international break, the subsequent big tests against Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen and the fuss about the delayed payment of another 100 million euros by investor Lars Windhorst.
“The team needed this victory,” admitted Labbadia. Also personally, he could hardly have found a better time for his 100th success as Bundesliga coach. “That feels incredibly good after this dry period,” admitted Alexander Schwolow, who as a goalkeeper was also happy with the first clear game of the season.
Labbadia was full of praise for his team, which was very organized, very focused and determined. And it was rewarded with goals from the excellent penalty taker and preparer Matheus Cunha (44th minute), Dodi Lukebakio (52nd) and Krzysztof Piatek (86th). Hertha was convincing and worked for 90 minutes as a collective. “We have invested a lot as a team and helped each other on the field. That was important,” said Cunha.
For Labbadia, the second win of the season was a “logical consequence” of the past weeks, in which he had seen a positive development. But in football there is no substitute for positive results, as he himself said: “You only need victories for the development of a team. That’s why a win is very good.”
There is potential in the team pimped with millions of euros. Young Frenchman Mattéo Guendouzi brings a refreshing presence and leadership to midfield. The offensive to control Cunha has a lot of talent and pervasive power. When Jhon Cordoba had to leave the field injured after the heady mistake of Felix Uduokhai, who was nominated for the national team for the first time by national coach Joachim Löw, the Pole did not jump in Piatek alone with his joker goal. “I hope it isn’t so bad with Jhon,” Labbadia told Cordoba, who may have suffered a ligament injury. The muscular striker left the stadium on crutches.
Hertha manager Michael Preetz once again tried in Augsburg to present the late payment of the last million tranche by investor Windhorst as a “normal process”. “New payment terms have been agreed. Don’t worry. Everything is fine,” said Preetz in an interview with Sky. Hertha will remain “able to act” in the transfer market, Preetz assured. In winter, however, the range of shops should not be as large as during the nearly 80 million euros shopping tour at the beginning of this year.
It could and should continue with the existing staff. Labbadia wants to add many more to his 100 wins. “Absolutely,” he said, “I’m ready.”