Werder Bremen and HSV play for promotion

WPlaces of appreciation in the direction of Hamburger SV, sympathy perhaps for the northern rival? Not with Ole Werner. “I do not think so much about it. We try to do our best and do our part to be among the winners in this battle for promotion. That is the only thing I concentrate on,” said Werder Bremen’s coach when asked , if it would not be nice to have both traditional clubs back in the Bundesliga, it’s still difficult to get something beyond the core business of Werner – these days it’s impossible.

The head coach of SV Werder is even more focused and concentrated in guiding his professionals before the big season finale on Sunday (15.30 in the FAZ live ticker for the 2nd Bundesliga and on Sky). He noticed what happens when players and teams relax a bit in this fascinating tight second division – everything was ready on Friday two weeks ago for the big step towards the championship in the lower house, for promotion.

But then the green-whites lost 2-3 after a 2-0 lead against Werner’s longtime club Holstein Kiel. Because Schalke, Darmstadt and HSV won the same day, Werder suddenly looked stupid. Underestimated the opponent? Absolutely not.

Rather fell victim to the power density – just like Darmstadt a week later in Düsseldorf. And even when Bremen won 3-0 in relegation Aue last match day, their difficulties were visible to all.

Because the knees of the respective favorites shake in this exciting ascent race, any opponent can become a stumbling block. It is much easier to fight for a tabular advantage than to maintain it in the crucial weeks.

Nordrivalen’s chances also do not matter to Ole Werner, because it is a long-distance duel with clear advantages for Bremen. The green and whites only need one point more on Sunday in the Weser Stadium against Jahn Regensburg, so Werder would have repaired the accident in May 2021 and returned to the upper house after just one year – with a lot of first division crew.

Because with all the changes in the squad, sporting director Frank Baumann relied on a group that has a lot of Bundesliga experience. But it was Ole Werner who evoked true performance from Bremen in November, not least because he acknowledged that the 38-goal attack by Marvin Ducksch and Niclas Füllkrug harmonized fantastically.

While there is a lot of confidence in Bremen, and fans assume that Werder will solve the last task of the season and move up as the second club next to FC Schalke 04, there is also something growing in Hamburg.

The big sequel is still somewhat suspicious; too much has gone wrong in recent years. But since coach Tim Walter encouraged everyone in and around the club with the phrase “We want to be promoted”, fans and officials have gathered behind the coach and followed him.

For 32 game days, Walter had only talked about not wanting to look at the table. Instead, he had put the development of the young, relatively cheap team in the foreground – and praised the setbacks. After a 0-1 draw in Kiel four weeks ago, no one wanted to hear it anymore.

The next season in the second division seemed booked, the fifth. But four victories and an unusual robustness in handling fluttering nerves have given HSV the opportunity to jump to third place – from where he will do his best on Sunday at FC Hansa Rostock.

“There is great expectation”

And unlike usual, no fear of failure seems to paralyze the legs this time. “There is a high expectation that we still have the chance to score something on the last day of the match and possibly move up or at least move down,” said striker Robert Glatzel, who kept Hamburg’s hopes alive with his 21 goals.

In the middle of the week, however, Anssi Suhonen broke his fibula during training. The young Finn recently got the HSV midfield rolling with speed, energy and a desire to play and also stands for Hamburg’s new way of giving young professionals a serious chance.

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Still: A win in Rostock and HSV would play Thursday and Monday in the relegation against the third from the bottom in the Bundesliga, Hertha, Stuttgart or Bielefeld. Should Werder lose and Hamburg win, HSV could even celebrate direct promotion.

If both fail, the fourth-placed player from Darmstadt will also be in the draw. Coach Torsten Lieberknecht’s “Lilien” is number four and must defeat SC Paderborn – and hopes that both northern clubs slip.

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