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The Boys in Brown signed off the football year 2020 with a 3-0 home defeat against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Sunday afternoon. After the final whistle, director of sport Andreas Bornemann, head coach Timo Schultz and Marvin Knoll did not mince their words when looking back at the 90 minutes.

Director of sport Andreas Bornemann: "Düsseldorf really struggled to get results away from home early on this season but are back on track. They’ve found the right recipe with a solid rearguard and clinical efficiency up front. That was partly our undoing today. With us, I keep getting the feeling that the first shot on goal is going in. That was the case once again today. Yet we had our opportunities to take the lead ourselves. Whenever we get close, as with the double chance ahead of their second goal, we fail to score. We were a bit too casual at the back perhaps and gave them some decent chances that resulted in goals. It’s not a good combination when you lack effectiveness up front and concede too easily at the back. The third goal is a fairly good example of that. It’s extremely tough, then, there’s no point in kidding ourselves. A key point, especially after we’d clearly discussed what’s needed in games like today’s in our situation, will be to identify the right players with the ability to cope with the situation. I’ll do that with the coach."

Head coach Timo Schultz: "We wanted to win the final game of the year, of course, and started the first half well. We had our chances, but didn’t take them, and gave little away at the back. There’s no excuse for a second half like that. We were more hectic and made more mistakes with every minute. Despite having chances to get back into it, we lost our way. When we have to open up, we simply give too much away at the back. Against a side with the quality Düsseldorf have, the mistakes we made immediately led to clear-cut chances and ultimately three goals. You could see the confidence seeping out of a lot of our players minute by minute. You try to influence things from the touchline. When things aren’t going well, the players struggle to pick themselves up on the pitch. A performance like the one in the second half today is then what you get. Düsseldorf were well worth the 3-0 win.”

Marvin Knoll: "As in our recent games, our opponents scored with their first shot on goal. We have our chances but maybe lack the resolve or the quality. It feels like the ball’s on the line for half a minute but we can’t stick it away. In the end, we didn’t deserve to win today. We know where the problems are. We aren’t resolute enough in defence or in attack. Obviously it affects me because we’d envisaged things going differently, of course.”

Uwe Rösler (Fortuna Düsseldorf): "We’re relieved, pleased and happy to have won the last league game before Christmas. After the early chance for St. Pauli, we showed good stability and began to control the game and went ahead as a result. We had other chances but didn’t take them. The longer the first half went on, the more our confidence disappeared, and St. Pauli had some good opportunities from set pieces. We made a good start to the second half, played well and got the goal. St. Pauli pressed with lots of long balls, but we were unflappable at the back and threatened almost every time we broke."


Photos: Witters