Leitl is looking forward to the derby |

“If we win, then…”

Hanover coach Stefan Leitl (45) enters the press room two days before the derby against Eintracht Braunschweig, completely relaxed. “This derby theme has been with us since the season opened,” he says and smiles: “Everyone is aware of the importance of the game. We’re looking forward to this game.”

He made no secret of his friendship with Braunschweig colleague Michael Schiele (44) at the beginning of the week. This week, however, there was radio silence – and it will remain so until Saturday.

“There was no contact. It’s self-explanatory why not,” says Leitl and grins. Full focus on himself and his team, he also demands that from the players.

Leitl: “We want to focus on the sporty. We want to perform well to win this game. It takes a lot of discipline, hard work. If we can build on the performance of the past few weeks, we’ll win the game.”

Nothing will be changed in the course of the other home games. Ron-Robert Zieler & Co. are allowed to stay at home and only come to the stadium in their private cars on Saturday morning.

Leitl: “The boys should prepare at home. There is no special bus transfer. It should be as normal as possible. There are no special measures.”

The trainer knows that special (safety) measures outside of the sport are needed. Only 42,000 spectators (instead of 49,000) are allowed in the arena, there are buffer zones in the south. Roads are closed, the police are on the move all over the city.

The club and Leitl have already commented on the disgusting banner “Death and hate the BTSV”. When asked, the coach responded again, emphasizing: “Personally, I can’t identify with it. But so far it looks peaceful. I hope it stays that way. There is a lot of pressure from outside. But I’ve also noticed that a lot of people are looking forward to the game. It’s going to be a football festival on Saturday, we should all enjoy it.”

Full focus on football.

Leitl continues: “Sporting rivalry has to be lived. That’s why it means for us that we play a really good game in order to win. The boys are up for the game. Is there anything better than getting out here and enjoying a packed stadium? The boys should enjoy it, soak up the mood in the stands and convert it into energy. But the focus has to stay on us, we mustn’t overdo it.”

“DEATH AND HATE TO BTSV” Hanover professionals celebrate in front of disgusting poster

Source: IMAGE


He has experienced derbies as a player and as a coach, in Munich (Bavaria around 1860) and in Franconia with Nuremberg against Fürth: “I’m not a derby newcomer. I know what it means to the fan.”

What he doesn’t get enough of with all the derby fever is the development of his squad: “For us it’s about something completely different: we want to continue our series. The team has been performing for weeks, we’ve worked our way up.”

And: “If we win this game, then maybe we’ll stay in the top 6 for a longer period of time.”

There are also only three points for the derby victory – but that would not only be the fifth win in a row, but also the ticket to bite the top.

As always, Leitl demands full throttle: “We don’t underestimate any opponent. You can surpass yourself in games like this. If we get many players to their performance limit, we will win the game.”

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