{} } Eye-Able Logo
Zum Inhalt springen

Smith: “We can’t lean back and think we’re safe”

After missing the 1-0 victory at Nürnberg due to illness, Eric Smith returned to the side for the 2-0 home defeat of Hannover 96 and did his bit for the second win on the bounce with a strong performance. On Wednesday, the Swedish utility player took time out to field a host of questions from the media.

Eric Smith on…

...the successful start to the second half of the season: “It feels good. They were two important victories for the team to get some confidence into the squad and show that we’re on the right track with Fabian. Obviously, there’s still room for improvement and we’re working on that every day.”

...the reasons for the important start: “How we’re playing is a lot about confidence and Fabian Hürzeler tries to fill us with confidence and show us that we’re good enough to win games. It obviously helps when you start like we did with a win at Nürnberg. Away wins haven’t been the most successful thing for us this season, after all. We have more energy now and that’s because of the new coach and the new players who have brought that energy into the team.”

...two games without conceding a goal: “Keeping a clean sheet is always the key. If you do that, you’re most likely going to win a lot of football matches, which is just how this league works. We’re doing all we can to keep a clean sheet and it’s worked very well in the two games so far. We’ve conceded fewer goals with the new system.”

...his role in the centre of defence: “I play wherever the coach tells me to play and where he thinks we have the best chance of winning the game. I’m at an age now where I don’t really care about how it’s going for me, as long as we get points on the table. I think that’s my role now. I play where the team need me. I’ve been playing more in midfield, but I kind of like playing in defence as well. In Sweden I played five games as a central defender, but it feels like that was 500 years ago (he grins). I have more touches of the ball at the back, and I like that. You have to be more focused than when you’re in midfield because you’re the last line of defence except for the keeper and there are a lot more details you need to keep track of. I’ve always been more of a defensive player, though, and I like fighting to keep a clean sheet.”

...the new mentality in the team: “We had a long time to prepare for the second half of the campaign, it felt more like a pre-season really. It did us good to have so much time to find ourselves again and a system that we all believe in and we got a lot of energy out of it. It was really important for us. We kept our belief even after the first half of the season. We always knew we had the quality to win games. Sometimes you get caught up in a downward spiral and small things go against you. We might be on the other side now but it’s only two games, so we can’t lean back and think we’re safe. We need to keep working and hopefully that will bring us more points. When you win games, it gives you energy and we’ve got a lot of it at the moment, so we’re just trying to ride on that energy now.”

...the current situation: “Even though we’ve won two games, we know it’s going to be a really tight series. It’s only four points to the drop zone. We can’t afford to relax, we have to take it game by game and try to win as many as possible. That’s all we’re focusing on, not where we end up in the table at the end of the season.”

...the upcoming home game against Kaiserslautern: “It’s going to be a tough game against tough opposition. They’ve taken a lot of points this season. We were really close to getting something when we played them away. We have to fight the way we did in the last two games and then we’ll have a chance of taking all three points.”

Photos: FC St. Pauli