Adi Hütter probably didn't even know what “gift” he was giving his colleague.

Hütter, the coach of Borussia Mönchengladbach, spoke a rather banal sentence after his team's 0-1 at Hertha BSC, just as he falls umpteen times after games in the Bundesliga.

"After conceding the goal it was difficult, Hertha defended really well," said Hütter.

For his counterpart, Hertha's coach Pal Dardai, this assessment was a praise of particular value.

The statement confirmed Dardai's belief that his team was on the right track.

You have to know that for Dardai it is rather secondary whether his players play the semi-left eight space sufficiently or the back four are positioned asymmetrically in the structure.

The consistent defending of a lead is of essential value to him, because this quality was the foundation of all successful Hertha teams led by Dardai.

From 2015 to 2019 he coached the professional team once, during which time Hertha reached the European Cup twice.

Anyone who met Berlin at the time knew: After falling behind, it will be difficult, then the game against Hertha is as good as lost.

This is what happened to the Gladbach team, who, after conceding a goal from Marco Richter, hardly found any answers in the form of scoring chances.

"I am not a magician"

Hertha was more confident than ever this season.

The many goals conceded before were like a stab in the heart for Dardai.

He tried this and that, sometimes back three, sometimes back four, changed staff, but only since the international break in October have his players defended more consistently.

There has only been one goal conceded since then, the wages are six points and the jump into the middle of the table.

For Dardai, this development comes as little surprise.

"I said from the start, I'm not a magician, we need time," he says.

The Berliners got their squad together late, the sporting leadership around Fredi Bobic and Arne Friedrich tinkered up to the last minute.

Players came, players left, and Dardai groaned.

"Actually, we need some more preparation now," he said after the end of the transition period.

For many weeks, the team presented itself like a pieced-together bunch.

0: 5 in Munich, 0: 6 in Leipzig.

Dardai's chair wobbled.

There was speculation in Berlin about his successor.

Especially after he made himself small (“Pal is just a small coach”) and accused the club of actually wanting another coach.

Behind the scenes, however, Dardai is free from self-doubt.

The 45-year-old coach is considered a proud man, impulsive with pronounced alpha traits.

Conversations with him can be loud and often uncomfortable for the other person.

All the more exciting is the constellation with the new manager Bobic, who also tends to be impulsive.

They both know each other well and have played together for a year.

So far, their alliance holds.

It would be an advantage for Bobic to have success with Dardai. The coach is no less than a club legend, Hertha since 1997, captain and record player of the club, popular with fans and players. His popularity with the team last helped him through the difficult weeks. Dardai knows the emotional states of his players, he was one himself long enough. His cabin is always open, and anyone who has problems can talk to him. On the other hand, he is direct and honest, not everyone can take his tone.

After investor Lars Windhorst joined the company, Dardai was seen as a relic of bygone days.

Not modern and presentable enough for the grandiose future plans, allegedly four coaches wore out those responsible before the choice fell on the man from his own club again in dire need of relegation.

Dardai has not forgotten that, he regularly gives the warning when people talk about the European Cup and the championship again in Berlin.

It is not uncommon for him to begin one of his dreaded monologues and talk himself into a rage.

At Hertha, Dardai has a permanent contract.

After a possible dismissal from the professionals, he can, if he wants, work again at any time in the junior staff.

After two victories last time, that's a rather distant scenario.

Keywords: pal dardai, players, adi hütter, hertha, victory, trainer, fredi bobic, odds, club, team, times, bundesliga, alliance, the berliners, track.