There was little doubt as to the most coveted interview partner after the Matchday 21 meeting of SV Werder Bremen and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. The hard-earned 1-1 draw at the Weser Stadiun against their fellow relegation-battlers amounted to a respectable start for the new man in the Hoffenheim hot seat – 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann, the youngest contracted head coach in Bundesliga history.
'Our most refreshing performance'
That very youthfulness had, inevitably, been one of the main talking points in the run-up to the game. Now, asked about the team's season target, Nagelsmann responded, “It would be nice to read on Wikipedia that the Bundesliga's youngest coach began by helping Hoffenheim stay afloat in it.”
Last Saturday's draw still leaves the club from the South West five points shy of Werder, . Avoiding defeat, in a game the hosts came closer to winning, was nonetheless a psychological boost in itself.
Nagelsmann, who was earmarked for the top job next season, took charge a few months ahead of schedule after Huub Stevens stepped down for health reasons. The former U-19 coach is an avowed proponent of attacking football and, despite the pressure-cooker circumstances, he set his stall out from the off at Bremen.