Bremen - Robin Dutt's pronouncement on Aaron Hunt's role in his team could scarcely have been more forthright. "Aaron can do what he likes up front. He's the captain of our forward line and has a license to roam," the new Werder Bremen head coach explained a few days ago.
In interview with bundesliga.com, the reciprocated that swift gesture of confidence, describing how Dutt "always gives 100 percent and never leaves anything to chance." Also up for discussion were the pre-season preparations, new signing Cedrick Makiadi and of course the campaign ahead.
bundesliga.com: Aaron Hunt, are you satisfied with how the pre-season preparations have been going?
Aaron Hunt: All-in-all it's been pretty solid. We saw an improvement in just about every game, particularly last time out against Fulham. We could maybe have done better in terms of putting away our chances, but apart from that we're satisfied with the performance. That win was a reward for the effort we've put in over the past weeks and it's given us a boost for what's coming up next.
bundesliga.com: Had the mini-run of two defeats and a draw that preceded it been getting a bit annoying?
Hunt: Obviously we go into every game looking to win it. But two or three games not going so well was no big deal for us really, we knew there was still enough time to improve. What's important is that we produce the goods in our first competitive match, in the DFB Cup.
bundesliga.com: Are Bremen up at 100 percent now?
Hunt: It's difficult to say. Over the past few days we've been making steady, continuous progress. Hopefully we'll be totally ready to go by next week. Until then, there's no time for taking it easy, we need to stay focused and keep working.
bundesliga.com: The game against Fulham was Robin Dutt's first for Bremen at the Weser Stadion. Has he truly arrived at the club now?
Hunt: Absolutely. You can see how meticulously he approaches every game and every training session. He always gives 100 percent and never leaves anything to chance.
bundesliga.com: And is new signing Cedrick Makiadi going to be another integral part of the revamped Werder armoury?
Hunt: Cedrick's going to be a big help to us with all his experience. That's already evident out on the pitch, by the way he can restore order to certain situations. That's maybe something we were sometimes lacking last season and he's great at it. He's a very important player for us in that role.
bundesliga.com: What's the main priority going to be this season - tightening things up at the back or keeping the forward game flowing?
Hunt: We conceded far too many goals last year and that's definitely something we've got to address. On the other hand we scored a lot as well, which is a habit we don't want to break. It's going to be all about finding the right balance.
Interview: Michael Reis