- Hoffenheim unbeaten through 16 matches.
- Hübner believes his side can qualify for Europe.
- Defender settling well at the club.
bundesliga.com caught up with the TSG defender to discuss the his debut half-season in Sinsheim and Hoffenheim's goals for the second half of the campaign...
bundesliga.com: You've been with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim since the summer. How do you think the first half of the season went?
Benjamin Hübner: Whenever you move to a new club in order to take the next step in your career, there are certain things to get used to. A few routines that change, a new coach with a new philosophy. I'm also the type of person who needs to feel comfortable, and for that reason I probably need a bit more time to settle. At the beginning it wasn't that easy, but it got better. The transfer paid off.
Watch: Hoffenheim made it 16 games unbeaten in the Matchday 16 draw with Bremen:
bundesliga.com: You didn't play at all in the first five matches of the season, only to make your debut - ironically - against your old club FC Ingolstadt 04. How motivated were you for that match? Was it important for you?
Hübner: It was very important for me. I only found out a little before kick-off that I was going to play, which was perhaps not such a bad thing. Of course it's always a big motivation to play against your old teammates, but I would have been very motivated to play against any other team too.
bundesliga.com: Hoffenheim are the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga after 16 games. Did you expect this kind of start to the season?
Hübner: No. Of course I hoped things would go well, but nobody expected to be unbeaten after 16 matches.
bundesliga.com: You've drawn six out of the last seven matches, and in four of those games the team has failed to hold on to a lead. Are you frustrated to miss out on those points or are you satisfied with the return?
Hübner: I think we can be happy with what we've got, even if we dropped points - there are always games where you feel like things could have gone better.
bundesliga.com: This is your second season in the top flight. Over the past few years you've worked your way up to the top, starting in the third division, then Bundesliga 2, and so on. At which club do you think you made the most progress?
Hübner: It's been a step-by-step process and I've picked up valuable experience everywhere. Ingolstadt is where I got the chance to play in the Bundesliga, and where I got to show where I wanted to be and where I belong.
"I see the confidence we have, and we've got the quality to keep on being successful."
bundesliga.com: Hoffenheim are one of just three Bundesliga clubs that didn't go away on a winter training camp. How were the team's preparations in Sinsheim? Are there advantages to staying home?
Hübner: The advantage is not having to travel there and back or get used to another time zone. We were all able to keep to our usual routines, and our facilities here are top notch. We didn't miss a single day of training either - they did a great job of clearing the pitch. I have to say it has been pretty cold here in Germany (laughs). But our training conditions have been great.
bundesliga.com: The Bundesliga gets going again soon with Matchday 17. Hoffenheim begin with a trip to FC Augsburg - how do you see the game?
Hübner: We should try and keep up the good form we showed heading into the winter break. We want to show in Augsburg that we belong up near the top of the table, and we want to win.
bundesliga.com: What goals have you set for the remainder of the season? Is qualifying for Europe the goal?
Hübner: I don't know, I can't say at the moment. The first part of the season moved us in the right direction - if we keep up our performances, we'll see.
bundesliga.com: Do you think the team is capable of reaching that goal?
Hübner: Of course. I see the confidence we have, and we've got the quality to keep on being successful. We just need to careful not to fall back on that quality - we need to make sure we earn points game after game.
Interview by Tobias Gonscherowski