Frankfurt - Hamburger SV's 3-2 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt leaves them still without a point three games into the season. The good news from Sunday's fixture was that the Red Shorts put in a battling display - and they did so with Rafael van der Vaart back in the side for the first game of his second stint with the club.

After the match the Dutch playmaker, who was previously on the books at HSV between 2005 and 2008, spoke about the positives to be taken from the encounter - and of his delight at turning out in the Bundesliga once again


Question: Rafael van der Vaart, was that an unnecessary defeat?

Van der Vaart: Yes, it was. We have to ask ourselves how we can start such a game in the way we did because the first 20 minutes were a nightmare for us. That demonstrated that when a team play nervously, they concede goals. After those first 20 minutes we played like we had nothing to lose. Then we suddenly had two good chances and our game improved a lot.

Question: What was the reason for the sluggish start?

Van der Vaart: It was all to do with confidence. When you're low on confidence, you make the wrong decisions. When we went down to ten men we gave it our all though, and I think the fans saw a different HSV.

Question: Did you play like relegation candidates?

Van der Vaart: After only three games it's way too early to speak in those terms. We do have a long way to go, though.

Question: Irrespective of the result, how was it for you to be playing in your first Bundesliga game after four years away?

Van der Vaart: I'm happy to be back here again in Hamburg, at HSV and in the Bundesliga. The stadiums are always packed out and the fans are great. But there is still a lot of work to be done here.

Question: Without the red card [shown to Petr Jiracek for dangerous play], would you have had more of a chance to get back into the game in the second half?

Van der Vaart: Yes, I think so. With eleven men on the pitch we would have been more capable of turning the result around, but I don't want to complain too much.

Question: You mentioned that the players were nervous in the opening moments of the game. How do you combat that?

Van der Vaart: Simply by playing without fear.

Question: How can you personally influence the team?

Van der Vaart: There were positives to take from this game. The football we played at 2-0 down, for example, was good. We just have to keep on working.

Question: Do you hold out much hope for the next game against Borussia Dortmund?

Van der Vaart: We can't make the same start to the game as we had here - if we do, we'll concede three goals. But as I said, the football we played after that was encouraging. I think the confidence is still there among the players.

Tobias Schächter reporting from Frankfurt