Germany: Bundesliga
3 - 0
(2 - 0)
Hertha BSC
K. Piątek (13), P. Pekarík (22), N. Radonjić (85)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Dardai and Schwolow brush off distraction: "We never felt Lehmann was with us or close to the team."

With two matches yet to make up in what could be described as a relegation dogfight, Charlottenburg's Hertha BSC certainly didn't need the distraction of Jens Lehmann's controversial WhatsApp message.

Trainer Pal Dardai and keeper Alexander Schwolow immediately signaled support for Lehmann's removal. The head-coach quickly turned the focus back to tomorrow's fixture.
The media firestorm surrounding Hertha advisory board member Jens Lehmann's dismissal on Wednesday may have led some to forget that an important football match for the club lies ahead tomorrow.

After returning from a full quarantine, Germany's "alte Dame" returned to the pitch on Monday to draw FSV Mainz 05 1-1. Hertha still have two games in hand on the road to catching up with the rest of the league, but remain in an automatic relegation place, three points from safety.

Tomorrows fixture against SC Freiburg by no means constitutes an easy match. Knowing this, and having had some recent experience dealing with a staff member (not to mention countryman) being dismissed because of inappropriate remarks, trainer Pal Dardai carefully calibrated his comments on the Lehmann matter.

"The club has made another consistent decision," Dardai said at the final pre-match presser, "We accept that and we live with it."

Journalists also managed to ask keeper Alexander Schwolow about the incident. The recently reinstated #1 called it a "necessary step." Dardai was also quick to endorse the club's decision to terminate Lehmann.

"Here we have another negative matter," Dardai continued, "but, on the other hand, it's positive that the club reacted immediately. I think that's very good."

Dardai was quick to point out that what he called "disruptive noise" would have no bearing on the team's performance tomorrow.

"I don't want to talk about it so much," the trainer noted, "We never felt that Jens Lehmann was with us or close to the team. We have to concentrate on playing football regardless of what else is going on around us."

Euro 2024

Bundesliga End of Season Awards

Long reads

Exclusive interviews

Team News