Hoffenheim coach stays cool after debut success

August 17, 2008

Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick is determined to keep his players' feet firmly on the ground despite an impressive start to life in the Bundesliga.

A 3-0 victory over Energie Cottbus on Saturday saw the top-flight newcomers set the early pace in the table alongside Schalke, with goals from Vedad Ibisevic (two) and Demba Ba doing the damage.

Although Rangnick was thrilled with the win, the coach is aware that any talk of a title challenge or push for place in Europe is premature.

'This win gives us some momentum and self-confidence, but I will not be looking at the league table until after 10 matches,' he said.

'We have latched on to the good performances we showed in the second half of last season and in pre-season.'

For Cottbus, the early signs suggest it could be another year of struggles at the wrong end of the standings after spending much of last campaign inside the bottom three.

'We did not show our true face and played very badly,' admitted Cottbus coach Bojan Prasnikar.

'We did not fight, were not aggressive and failed to move - that was pathetic.

'I believe we will play better in our next game.'

Cottbus will next meet a Hannover side which also lost 3-0 on the opening day to Schalke.