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Two wins out of two since the resumption. After the 2-0 defeat of Hannover 96, the mood in the camp was one of great satisfaction. Here’s the pick of the reaction.

Head coach Fabian Hürzeler: “We didn’t start well. Like Nürnberg, Hannover pressed us man on man, and we had problems dealing with it. We want to play football and will keep doing so. We were fortunate in the situations involving Maximilian Beier. Those deep runs are difficult to defend against, especially when the tempo is so high. We kept being brave, though, and the first goal is exactly what I want to see – us playing out from the back with one touch. We showed great presence after that and created one or two opportunities before we made it 2-0. I’m especially happy for Connor, who simply got his reward. After the restart the sending-off played into our hands. I wasn’t so pleased after that because we didn’t go for the third goal with as much conviction. We did create the odd chance or two but weren’t resolute enough in the final third. All in all, I saw things that were good and things we can do better. The result is good for us, but I’m convinced we can play even better, and we’ll work on that in the next few weeks.”

Lukas Daschner: “Most of what we set out to do we put into action today. The whole team performed superbly today. We created lots of chances and could have added another goal or two in the second half. There were some situations we could have finished better but we can be happy with the three points. We're a force to be reckoned with, especially at the Millerntor with the backing of the fans. I feel comfortable playing up top but also on the left or right. It’s lots of fun with the lads, today with Dapo on the left and Connor on the right.”

Oladapo Afolayan: “It was a great team performance today and a deserved win at home. It went brilliantly. I was delighted to get the chance to start. I was involved in lots of tackles, but I'm used to that. The only way it could have gone any better was if I’d scored myself, though I'm happy we won as a team. It went really well, but we can always do better. I’ve only been here two-and-a-half weeks and am still getting to know the team.”

Connor Metcalfe: “I thought I was offside when I scored and I wanted to leave the ball alone, but fortunately I changed my mind. I'm happy with the way we played as a team. We've made a good start to the second half of the season and I hope we can keep it up. I get the feeling we're getting stronger with every game. It’s going really well for me at the moment and I’m enjoying it. I was in Australia during the winter break and came back with a different mindset. We’ll carry on taking each game as it comes with the aim of staying solid at the back and keeping a clean sheet. We’ve shown we’ve improved on the first half of the season.”

Jackson Irvine: “We had a lot of intensity in our play today. We were strong in the tackle, on top of the second balls and quick in transition. We could have scored more with better technique. We defended really solidly and pressed the ball very well. Hannover hit some long balls early on that caused us a few problems, but once we were a man up we gave nothing away. We can be very pleased with the performance. It was a great goal by Connor! He’s worked hard and had to be patient and he’s been able to maintain his strong form from the warm-up matches.”

Stefan Leitl (Hannover 96): “It was a day to forget for us. Looking at the game chronologically, we started very well. We had some good moments in transition and made some deep runs in behind the backline through Maxi Beier. Then there was a situation where we could have had a penalty. It was clearly the wrong decision because there was a clear contact. We would have the momentum on our side then. Both teams played with lots of power, especially against the ball. Eventually St. Pauli scored with their first shot on goal. They were in the ascendency then, took control of the proceedings and got the second goal. The lads responded well and continued to be play with courage. When we keep pressing high and attacking, we’ll have the odd situation in transition and that’s what I want to see from my team. We started the second half well but the sending-off put the lid on things and St. Pauli saw the game out well. That’s why it was a day to forget – with some questionable decisions against us.“


Photos: Witters