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Hürzeler: "I sense the trust is there"

Fabian Hürzeler had one more appointment after training on Thursday afternoon. Along with director of sport Andreas Bornemann, he took questions from the media representatives attending his first news conference as head coach. Among other things, the two of them spoke about...

...the process leading to the decision to appoint Fabian Hürzeler as head coach:

Andreas Bornemann: "The World Cup gave us the time to review the year and the first half of the season. Once we'd decided to make a change at the helm, we were then able to take the time needed to fill what is probably the most important position in a football team. I said from the outset that Fabian Hürzeler was one of the candidates who met the requirements for taking on the role of head coach in addition to several external options. When you then decide to hand the assistant coach responsibility for the team for the first phase of the preparations, you only do that if you trust him to do it on a permanent basis. Fabian filled the post very well, especially when it came to the subject matter. After the first 14 days, it was patently clear to me that he has a lot of the qualities I think are needed for the role of head coach. Fabian took the role on, but he didn't do it like someone who moves the team a little for two weeks. He took it on the way you should do when you take responsibility for a team. He had lots of conversations and spent a lot of time dealing with the players, the staff and everything associated with the assignment and used the 14 days the way a head coach would do. The decision ripened with every day, a trend emerged early on. As was hoped, the decision to hand Fabian responsibility for the team was made before Christmas."

Fabian Hürzeler: "For me, it's an absolute privilege to be able to work for such a great club. It's been very intensive. We've had lots of trusting conversations. I sense the huge responsibility and I feel ready."

...the time as caretaker head coach:

Fabian Hürzeler: "I didn't set out to convince anyone when I took the assignment on. Working football is my passion. It's in me. For me it was about the assignment and the responsibility towards the club. I wanted to make the best possible use of the time. We started training early and I wanted to use the time effectively to teach things on the pitch. I never thought about what would happen if I did a good job for a fortnight or whether I would then become head coach. I had a lot of good, trusting conversations, not only with the experienced players but also with the young players and the staff. I sense the trust is there. I see it as a chance to turn things round and have a successful second half of the season with all the parties involved."

...the dismissal of assistant coach Loïc Favé:

Andreas Bornemann: "When the decision was made to name Timo Schultz head coach, he linked that with the appointment of Loïc Favé, with whom he had had close and regular contact for many years, as his assistant. They operated as a pair from the outset. So when we decided not to continue with Timo, it was the obvious outcome. Timo had two or three candidates in mind for the second assistant coach. In the end, the decision went in favour of Fabian Hürzeler. They worked very well together."

Director of sport Andreas Bornemann

Director of sport Andreas Bornemann

...new assistant coach Peter Németh and the division of responsibilities:

Fabian Hürzeler: "With the addition of Peter, the coaching team is complete. I held talks with him, we had a very, very good exchange of views. What's important to me is his incredible meticulousness, work ethic and attention to detail. He has a lot of experience and knows the situation. The time spent with him and the team so far has been top-notch and I'm glad the decision was made to work with Peter. Nothing much will change as far as the routine is concerned. The work in training will be done together. When it comes to tactics, I'll be more active. I'll take the lead when it comes to the major game-related drills, too. We've exchanged views after every session so far and discussed what was good and what wasn't so good. It's been a frank and open exchange, which is very important to me. It's the only way we can progress and build trust. We haven't had two years of working together yet, after all, it's a new start for us. We see it as an opportunity and that's how we're approaching it."

...changes to the routine in training and off the pitch:

Fabian Hürzeler: "In general, I think I can add new stimuli with my manner. Off the pitch, we've changed little things that won't be apparent to everyone outside. In football, however, they have a big effect on the pitch. The boys are going along with everything extremely well. I'm very pleased with the way they're doing things. My job now is to see what we can do better compared with the first half of the season. We would do well to focus on substance. There are lots of things we need to improve. I'm a coach with a clear idea of how we want to play and I demand a lot from the team. It's a process we'll go through. We'll try to develop individual players. I'm convinced the whole team will benefit if we make individual players better."

...potential new signings:

Fabian Hürzeler: "If we work hard and put the things we practice in training into action, I'm convinced we have a team that is well placed. I don't go to Andreas every day to tell him I need this player or that one. I'm happy with the players who are here and I see the potential in them. My job is to get the maximum out of everyone. That's how I'm approaching the assignment."

Head coach Fabian Hürzeler

Head coach Fabian Hürzeler

...the targets for the second half of the season:

Andreas Bornemann: "In view of the setup we have here, we're agreed it should be possible to establish ourselves in the top 25. Seventh place in the second division is the benchmark to a certain extent. Nothing has changed in this regard, even though the primary task in the current situation is to achieve stability quickly in the new lineup and distance ourselves from the threat of relegation as soon as possible. That's the primary target, but we'll stick to our prospective target because with the conditions we have here we ought to be in a position to establish ourselves in the top 25 in the next few years."

...the upcoming training camp:

Fabian Hürzeler: "We'll work a lot with the ball on the training ground and that's how we define ourselves, too. We aim to play with even more confidence and courage. We aim to have even better patterns of play, everyone should know what to do on the pitch. We cancelled the scheduled friendly against Werder Bremen because I wanted to have more time on the training ground with the team to convey and work more intensively on our ideas."

Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters

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