2nd league: The fight goes on: Hamburg’s next promotion drama

2nd league: The fight goes on: Hamburg’s next promotion drama

As in the previous season, HSV has to go into relegation. At the season finale in Sandhausen, thousands of fans thought they were back in the Bundesliga. Now coach Tim Walter’s ex-club is waiting.

At least externally, Tim Walter and Jonas Boldt no longer let the drama of Sandhausen be noticed. The message that the coach and sporting director of Hamburger SV wanted to convey on the way to the training ground was clear: the crazy scenes from the day before are over, the focus is already fully on the relegation.

In the knockout games against Walter’s ex-club VfB Stuttgart on Thursday and next Monday, what the Hanseatic League has been fighting for since their relegation in 2018 and so far unsuccessfully should finally succeed: the return to the Bundesliga.

“We already knew beforehand that we could go this route. And we have to now,” Walter said right after the emotional second division season finale. According to Walter, the experience from last season, when you played in the relegation and lost to Hertha BSC, should help the Hamburgers. “We’ll try to get the upper hand this time,” said the 47-year-old.

Stadium spokesman congratulated HSV on the promotion

At least for several minutes, thousands of HSV fans thought they were back in the German elite class after the 1-0 win in Sandhausen. They stormed onto the square euphorically. The stadium announcer had already congratulated on the rise, for which his club later apologized. Because the parallel game of 1. FC Heidenheim at Jahn Regensburg was still running. Heidenheimer scored twice more in injury time, won 3-2 and pushed HSV back to third place.

Hamburg’s coach Walter had previously thrown a water bottle through the air with joy, but then quickly braked again. “I was just happy about our win,” he explained afterwards. “I then went straight to the dressing room. It was very, very emotional.” And it should definitely be a challenge for the Hanseatic League to shake off this mad final in the short time before the relegation games.

In any case, the substitutes who trained on the pitch on Monday seemed more embarrassed than their superiors. The traces that the double concert of the metal band “Metallica” had left around the Volkspark on the previous evenings could also have been those of the emotional hurricane that swept over HSV in Sandhausen.

Year after year, the six-time German champion is the big favorite for promotion, but the fight to return to the Bundesliga just doesn’t want to end. “We still have a chance,” said captain Sebastian Schonlau after sorting himself out. “Our boys have been through so much at the Hamburg location and have developed a lot,” added sporting director Boldt. “I hope we just reward ourselves for that.”

HSV coach meets his ex-club

The statistics are no encouragement: the second division team has only won the relegation three times since 2009. According to Boldt, it’s time to reconsider the mode. This year, however, HSV will certainly not be spared the renewed thrill of the additional games.

The fact that Walter meets the people of Stuttgart, who kicked him out in December 2019 after just six months, makes the whole thing even more explosive. The coach himself, however, sees it calmly. “I’ve learned a lot and now I’ve learned a lot more at HSV,” he said. At least outwardly no trace of revenge thoughts.

At VfB, which has been in crisis for years, was relegated in 2016 and 2019 and only saved itself on the last day of the season, they expect “a lot of hard work” either way, as sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth said after the final 1-1 draw against TSG Hoffenheim Weekend looking at the two relegation games said. “Duels between VfB and HSV are among the most traditional games in German football,” said the 44-year-old. However, both clubs know only too well that tradition does not score goals. In the end, one of the two big clubs will have to suffer again, as is so often the case.

Source: Stern

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