Bobby Wood enjoyed getting the better of best friend and USMNT teammate John Brooks on Sunday night, with Hamburg beating Hertha Berlin 1-0 thanks to Albin Ekdal’s late strike.
Playing directly against the Hertha centre-back for the first time in a competitive game, Wood covered nine kilometres and put in a team-high 14 tackles from centre-forward. bundesliga.com caught up with the HSV star after the game…
Question: You are very close friends with Hertha centre-back John Brooks. You are teammates in the US national team. How was it playing head-to-head against your friend?
Bobby Wood: It's always fun to play against him. He is a very good friend of mine. It would be nice if I’d scored against him! But that does not matter now. We won.
Question: You played a big part in Albin Ekdal’s winning goal, fighting to win the ball back from Marvin Plattenhardt…
Wood: How big a part I played in the goal is secondary. We fought as a team and deserved to win against Hertha. It was great teamwork. We gave everything we could.
Wood: We're only thinking about ourselves, even if that sounds weird. We gain nothing in looking at what the other teams are doing. We have no hand in what they do. We need to focus on our own performances and see to it that we win points.
Question: Did it affect you psychologically that HSV had a Sunday game, and that your direct rivals had already picked up three points?
Wood: I think it doesn’t matter. We have to fight the same way on a Sunday afternoon as on a Friday evening or Saturday afternoon. It makes no difference.
Watch: Wood praises Hamburg's mettle!:
Question. Was there a moment in the second half where you got nervous?
Wood: Actually no. we were edging our way into the game and were getting closer and closer to scoring. In the end, we were rewarded with three points thanks to a nice goal from Albin Ekdal.
Question: As the only striker you had to work hard defensively too. Does your coach Markus Gisdol demand this from you or do you see yourself is the first line of defence in this team?
Wood: It’s normal that everyone works hard for everyone else. I have no problem tracking back and fighting to win the ball back. We fought hard.
Question: Was it also a question of will? Hamburg gave the impression they wanted the win more than Hertha…
Wood: Yeah, clearly we know the situation we’re in, and we can only climb out of the drop zone if we have the right frame of mind. Luckily we got all three points.
Wood was speaking to Alexander Barklage in Hamburg