The former Germany international, who had a glittering Bundesliga career as a striker for Borussia Dortmund, took over the reins at Leverkusen following the club’s decision not to offer interim coach Tayfun Korkut a permanent deal.
In discussion with journalists at a pre-season press event, Herrlich spoke at length about his training and management philosophy, one that stresses the importance of connecting personally with his players.
“Performances can be planned, success can’t,” the 45-year-old said. “Players and people are not machines. I want to build good relationships with everybody and get the best out of every individual player.
“It will be crucial to demonstrate these values. The three qualities of technique, tactics and athleticism are joined by a fourth, personality. And it’s important to always focus on a team approach.
“I try to do that everyday and we want to achieve that with the support of the coaches.”
Herrlich referred back to his playing days when discussing his opinion on players’ personal achievements versus those of the team.
“I was lucky always to have played with successful teams,” the former Germany U17 and U19 coach said.
“As a player, you are always a bit selfish. But you have to accept it’s more helpful to achieve your personal targets if you act in the interests of the team.
“That was true wherever I played and it made me who I am.”