Bundesliga: Empathetic discipline fan: Nenad Bjelica takes over coaching position at Union Berlin

Union Berlin's professionals won't have to worry about making clear statements in the relegation battle in the coming weeks.

Bundesliga: Empathetic discipline fan: Nenad Bjelica takes over coaching position at Union Berlin

Union Berlin's professionals won't have to worry about making clear statements in the relegation battle in the coming weeks. Your new coach Nenad Bjelica is a fan of clear guidelines. "What I like is discipline on the pitch. Organization, clear tasks for each individual," said the 52-year-old when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Köpenick Bundesliga club. “They will rarely hear alibis from me.”

Off the field he maintains a human leadership, is a friend to the players, said the Croatian, and pointedly added: "For everyone who pays it back on the pitch." With his mixture of authority and calm, he was reminiscent of both his predecessor Urs Fischer and a little of Hertha coach Pal Dardai. Bjelica said the old school of discipline fanatics was over, but she left no doubt about who was in charge in the end.

The great legacy of the long-successful Fischer, the difficult program of the next few days: none of this allowed the self-confident Croatian to panic. "I've decided to get in tomorrow. I have no problem with that," he said. "It's certainly not an easy challenge after such a coach who has worked so successfully. Repeating that won't be easy. I'm fully confident in my work."

Bjelica hardly has time to shape the team according to his ideas until Christmas. The next game is on Wednesday (9 p.m./DAZN), the Champions League game at SC Braga. Then the preliminary decision will probably be made as to whether the Iron Men will slip into the Europa League as third in the group next year. "You can't work much in the tactical area, but in the psychological area," Bjelica said.

The rest of the program is also tough: After the games against Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach, Berlin will host Real Madrid. In terms of sport, the situation is precarious. Union has been waiting for a win for 15 games. Under the interim coaching team of Marco Grote and Marie-Louise Eta, they managed to win their first point in the league since August against FC Augsburg (1-1) on Saturday. But Bjelica emphasized the great potential he sees in the team.

After wild rumors about a commitment from Real Madrid legend Raúl, the Berliners presented a classic Union solution: surprising, not a big name, but at first glance it makes sense.

The rumors about Raúl initially caused a stir in Berlin on Sunday. But like midfielder Isco last winter, the next Spanish world star didn't end up with the Iron. It “really speaks for the organization of this club that out of all the candidates or the conversations we have had, not a single candidate has come to the outside world to date,” said managing director Oliver Ruhnert

Bjelica's profile fits much better with the workers' club from the southeast of the capital. The 52-year-old has no Bundesliga experience as a coach, but played as a midfielder for 1. FC Kaiserslautern from 2001 to 2004. He also played and coached in Austria for a long time and speaks German fluently.

Like Fischer when he arrived in 2018, he is relatively unknown as a coach in Germany, but has already won titles as a seasoned head coach in his home country. With Dinamo Zagreb, where he coached a young Dani Olmo, Bjelica became, among other things, champions and cup winners. He also gained experience in the Champions League with the Croatians and Austria Vienna. The 52-year-old most recently worked for the Turkish first division club Trabzonspor until mid-October.

Union President Dirk Zingler emphasized that Bjelica also fits the club as a person. He exchanged ideas with the Croatian about values ​​and life. The combination fits. "There are a lot of trainers who can train good tactical formations. Whether there are a lot of empathetic trainers who can lead groups - that's where the wheat is separated from the chaff," he said.

The Croatian also wants to adapt to the club in a playful and strategic manner. “I am a soldier of the club,” he said. He left no doubt about the success of the mission to remain in the class. “I am convinced that we will soon no longer have much to do with relegation.”

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