Pellegrino Matarazzo was officially unveiled as the new Hoffenheim manager on Thursday and believes the team are “ready to take the next step” after recent setbacks that have pushed them into the bottom half of the Bundesliga table.
“I see a very ready squad. A squad that knows what needs to be done. They welcome any input and are very energetic in training,” he said at the press conference. The coach replaces André Breitenreiter, who was sacked on Monday.
Matarazzo was out of work having had to go to Stuttgart at the start of the season after almost three years in charge.
Hoffenheim have not won in the Bundesliga since October and have been defeated in seven of their last nine league games. The poor results then dropped them to 14th in the table, just three points clear of the relegation zone.
They were also eliminated from the German Cup last week after a 3-1 defeat by RB Leipzig.
“After 19 matches, the standings don’t lie. We know where we are. We have to accept the situation and move forward,” said Matarazzo.
For his debut against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, he will be missing defenders Grischa Prömel and Pavel Kadeřábek, and midfielders Jacob Bruun Larsen and Robert Skov, while Kevin Vogt is questionable.
“Kevin Vogt had some training yesterday but he’s a doubt for the weekend,” said Matarazzo.