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FC St. Pauli entertain Bundesliga-relegated Hannover 96 this Saturday in a meeting of two teams desperate to end their respective barren runs after several weeks without a win. In the wake of the 3-1 reverse at Aue last time out, the Boys in Brown want and need to show a different face if they are to record their first win in two months.

While recent performances have largely been good, they have failed to yield the desired results. Against Aue, however, the Boys in Brown fell short of their own expectations. After the final whistle, the consensus in the dressing room was that the 3-1 defeat was deserved and the performance not good enough to survive in the second division. The players have done a lot of talking and analysing during the week with the aim of cutting out the mistakes made at Aue and elsewhere and ensuring there is no repeat against Hannover.

Robin Himmelmann, for example, opined that the Boys in Brown had not shown the necessary determination in the decisive moments, both at the back and in attack. "We weren't resolute enough," he said. "We played alright up to the penalty area. It was nice stuff but ultimately ineffective." Commenting on his side's defending, Himmelmann said no one should think nothing would happen if they were a yard away from the player they were marking. In recent weeks, that yard has led to goals being conceded against Aue, Bochum and Karlsruhe. The aim against Hannover on Saturday must therefore be to stay touch tight and challenge for every ball to lay the foundations for the sought-after home win.

When it comes to winning at home, that's something Hannover have been unable to do this season. On Monday evening they slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Darmstadt to extend their winless run at the HDI Arena to seven games. Overall, the Reds are now five matches without a win, leaving Kenan Kocak, who succeeded Mirko Slomka two weeks ago, and his team languishing in 16th place. And if it weren't for their form away from home, where only Arminia Bielefeld have collected more points, the situation would be even bleaker.

Our last win came in the 2-1 defeat of Sandhausen in late September, while Hannover haven't bagged three points since the 2-0 win at Dresden in early October. Accordingly, Himmelmann is not exacting an attacking spectacle from either side on Saturday. Instead, it will be more about scrapping for 90 minutes to get the result. Ultimately, the team that wants it more will win it. More conviction and determination will be the key to victory, concluded the St. Pauli keeper.

Photo: Witters