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Hürzeler: "I want to add my own touch and ideas"

FC St. Pauli began their preparations for the second half of the season on Friday under the stewardship of caretaker head coach Fabian Hürzeler. After training, the 29-year-old took time out to answer questions from the media.

Fabian Hürzeler…

...his first training session in charge: "It was nothing new for me, the lads responded well and really pulled their weight. It felt good to be back on the pitch. I sense a 'now more than ever' mentality [in the camp]. The lads had good energy and a lot of fun on the pitch. They did a lot of talking. I'm in a tunnel when we train. I'm fully focused and concentrate on the things we want to get across to the players and put into practice. The lads were very responsive."

..dealing with the departure of Timo Schultz and Loïc Favé while he stays on: The situation is unusual and not easy, that's obvious. I have spoken to Timo and Loïc, though. Schulle sent me message this morning wishing me good luck. We still have a very, very good relationship. The mutual respect will remain because we worked very well together. When the club approached me, it was only about the club and not about individuals. That's the assignment and the responsibility I have towards the club, too, so I had no doubts or guilty conscience because I'm doing this for the club."

...conditions from director of sport Andreas Bornemann for getting the job on a permanent basis: He hasn't made any conditions. I want to stake a claim with my practical work and Andreas knows exactly what he has in me. Who eventually gets the job or whether I can continue in the role, which I would like to do, is not something I can influence. I'm focused on working with the squad, from whom I got a sense a total energy in the first training session and a 'now more than ever' mentality."

...discussions with the players after the departure of Timo Schultz: "I've been in intensive contact with the lads, who are all very professional and ambitious and know the situation we're in. I get the impression they want to make amends. The 'now more than ever' mentality has been very noticeable. I haven't seen any heads down or bad body language, only people who are glad to be back. I sense the energy to tackle the situation."

...the displeasure of the fans over Timo Schultz's dismissal: "We would do well to concentrate on football, but I do know how important the fans are. I hope they'll get behind the team and the club and we'll look positively to the future."

...the difficult situation in which he's taking charge: "I'm now in my third year in the professional game and I know there's no easy situation in which to become head coach. I was surprised but also very pleased to receive the trust of the club, and I sense it, too. I'm approaching the assignment with great pleasure."

Fabian Hürzeler faced the massed media after training.

Fabian Hürzeler faced the massed media after training.

...planning an entire mid-season preparation and support in the form of assistant coaches: "I love working and I'm happy to do so. In my team talk before training I told the lads I'll be here 24 hours - for them and for the club. It's part of the job, and it's not the first time I've planned preparations as a head coach. I have energy and am in a positive frame of mind. Marco Knoop is helping me. He's a goalkeeping coach, but he has seen a lot as well. We're also in contact with other assistant coaches."

...changes he might want to make: "I'm not going to act the big shot and turn everything upside down. Some of things we're doing are very good. We want to carry on being brave and get the ball forward. There might be one or two structural adjustments. I want to add my own touch and my own ideas. I'll always be Fabian, but I'll make more decisions now than I did as assistant coach. We'll keep working hard and maintain the energy and intensive training. We want to continue the process with some different measures. We have good warm-up opponents and we'll see from game to game how the process is working."

...the squad and the possibility of signing of a striker: "We have very, very good strikers in our squad. I have to make the case for the lads who are here. They're doing a really good job. I'll work with them and try to develop them to get out them out of there. I'm very happy with the squad and have every confidence in the lads, but I'm also in contact with Andreas Bornemann and the scouting department. If there's someone on the market who fits our profile, then maybe we'll do something."

...new signing Elias Saad: "He's a super exciting player. He comes from the fourth division, where I've seen him play a few times this season. He's a player who likes to be in the space between the lines, who wins the one-on-ones and has something special. We're looking forward to that."

...the long seven-week mid-season break: We're treating it as a normal break but also as an opportunity. We have a lot of time to prepare for the second half of the season and the game against Nürnberg, so we'll try to prepare as we would in the summer. The lads have been running while they've been off and are fit, but we'll continue to work on that. Everything else will come bit by bit."

Photos: FC St. Pauli