The table place? With second place absolutely on target! The squad? No worries! In terms of sport, there was hardly any news for HSV coach Tim Walter before the away game on Sunday (1.30 p.m. / Sky) at Hansa Rostock. And so the 47-year-old had to deal with questions on two other topics at the match day press conference on Thursday that do not belong to his actual core area of responsibility: the parallel meeting of the shareholders of Fußball AG and the oral hearing scheduled for Friday against the under HSV professional Mario Vuskovic who is suspected of doping.
"We'll see everything tomorrow, but I can't anticipate that," said the HSV coach before the first of two scheduled hearings before the sports court of the German Football Association (DFB) in Frankfurt / Main. Nevertheless, his thoughts are with his currently suspended player: "I'm hoping for something good for us and especially for the boy."
According to Walter, he had telephone and personal contact with the 21-year-old Croatian, in whom exogenous erythropoietin (EPO) had been detected in an A and B sample. "None of us knows what's going on in him and nobody will find out," said Walter. “He has to make up the story with himself the most. I can only say that we are there for him. And so does my team.” Vuskovic, who has been suspended since an injunction on November 15 and has to keep fit alone, faces a four-year ban in the worst case. Walter emphasized: "He's a part of us." Walter was in his element when the conversation turned to the north duel on Sunday at Hansa Rostock. Walter expects a “heated atmosphere” from the people of Mecklenburg. It's nice because "we like that kind of atmosphere," said the coach, who added with a view to the spectators: "If everything stays within reason."
The fact that there were ups and downs in the 4-2 win over Eintracht Braunschweig at the start of the second half of the season was normal for the coach: "After an eleven-week break, not everything can be taken for granted." He confirmed that his team was on a "very, very good path". If that also applies to the club and its bodies, which are not always united, the 47-year-old would certainly be happy too.
Apparently, a former HSV professional had little joy in his time in Hamburg. Defender Rick van Drongelen, now under contract with second division soccer team FC Hansa Rostock, looks back on his time at Hamburger SV with mixed feelings. With HSV, he was relegated from the Bundesliga in 2018, among other things. "It was certainly not a happy time from a sporting point of view," said the 24-year-old Dutchman to "Bild". “I also tore my cruciate ligaments in 2020. The fact that we didn't get promoted to the Bundesliga with HSV is annoying and will haunt me well into old age."
Van Drongelen is looking forward to the north duel with his ex-club: "Of course it's a special game for me. After all, I experienced a lot there in four years, got to meet nice people and friends.” The Dutchman is currently on loan from Union Berlin to FC Hansa. When time permits, he continues to watch every Hamburg game. For him it is clear: "This year my ex-club is the promotion favorite in league 2."