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Hartel: "The way we defended today was simply top-notch"

The Boys in Brown secured a deserved victory at fellow promotion chasers Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday night to claim their second three-point haul since the resumption after last week's home win over Kaiserslautern. The mood in the camp afterward was one of satisfaction, of course.

Director of sport Andreas Bornemann: "We gave a very mature performance today, though we did labour for ten minutes after the interval when we were a bit untidy both on and off the ball. We gradually got the game under control again after that but failed to get a third goal to calm the nerves on the bench, making for a nervy last few minutes."

Head coach Fabian Hürzeler: "We started very well and had an excellent chance through Marcel Hartel early on. We continued to play with courage and found good solutions to counter their man-for-man pressing. We were a bit lucky to take the lead with the penalty, but I was very pleased with the first half. The task in the second half was to keep finding footballing solutions rather than simply hitting it long. We had opportunities to add a third or a fourth, but things got a bit hairy again towards the end because of a situation we were able to influence but didn't due to some poor defensive cover. I'm pleased with the performance and would like to thank Peter and all the staff. They did a really good job today. We go again immediately against Fortuna in the cup. They're capable of causing us problems, as we saw today."

Marcel Hartel: "It was a lot of fun today. Defending was fun, being on the ball was fun, and the atmosphere was good. The foundation for us ideally is keeping a clean sheet, as we have the quality up front to score goals. The way we defended today was simply top-notch, especially towards the end with all the high balls that came flying in. I felt we deserved to win. It was a successful evening for us, even though we missed the boss on the touchline. We're in constant contact and dovetail very well during a game. That was missing today. Huge praise for Peter, Marco and the whole coaching team. They were superb and we tried to put everything into practice on the pitch as best we could. Tuesday's game is special because we have a chance to reach the semi-final. We're at home and will have the fans behind us. It's going to be another exciting game."

Daniel Thioune (Fortuna Düsseldorf head coach): "That was certainly a statement today, our opponents had a lot of quality on the pitch. St. Pauli caused us so many problems that we fully deserved to lose. The foul before the penalty was daft, you don't need to go down like that and without the free-kick there would have been no penalty. We also defended the box poorly before the second goal and it was much tougher for us to find space from that moment because our opponents did a really good job. We lacked courage and conviction today. We didn't make use of the space the way we wanted. St. Pauli did that far better than we did. We improved in the second half, though I share Fabian's opinion that the game could have been over earlier because of the opportunities they had. When you pull one back in front of your own fans it can release fresh energy, but that didn't happen today, and it wouldn't have been a fair result either."


Photos: Witters