Takahara seeks fresh start
By Thomas Zeh. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Japan international Naohiro Takahara is confident he will soon reclaim his regular place in Hamburg's strike-force.
Following a spell on the sidelines, Takahara earned a rare start for Thomas Doll's in-form team last week.
The diligent forward lost his first-team status at the beginning of the season and given Hamburg's excellent run of 19 undefeated games in 2005-06, Doll kept faith in Sergej Barbarez, Benjamin Lauth and Emile Mpenza up front, condemning the Japan ace to a place on the substitute's bench.
However, the former Boca Juniors striker earned his first Bundesliga start this season in Sunday's 3-0 away win over Kaiserslautern and is confident his chance has finally arrived.
"I believe that this was something like a new start for me and I am desperate to break into the starting formation again," stressed Takahara.
Hamburg are set to face competition from Viking Stavanger, Monaco, CSKA Sofia and Slavia Prague in Uefa Cup Group A and with four European games to be played until the winter break, Thomas Doll is expected to boost Takahara's chances by rotating his squad.