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The Boys in Brown enter their first two-match week since the second division resumption when FC Heidenheim are the visitors on Wednesday evening (18:30 CET). While Jos Luhukay's side will be looking to put the 4-0 defeat at Darmstadt behind them, FCH could move into a promotion spot for the first time since matchday 1.

After making a successful restart with the 1-0 win over FC Nürnberg, the Boys in Brown were brought back down to earth with a bump by a heavy 4-0 loss at Darmstadt 98 on Saturday, when a poor ending to the game ushered in the biggest defeat of the season. As so often in the past, nothing came off at Darmstadt. "It all went wrong and that might be the good thing about it. We have to learn our lessons from the game, though, and do better. A performance like that against Heidenheim and then against Karlsruhe won't be enough to get a result," said goalkeeper Robin Himmelmann after the game.

A significant improvement will be needed on Wednesday evening, then, because in Heidenheim one of the league's best sides come to the Millerntor. Frank Schmidt's team beat Wehen Wiesbaden 1-0 last time out to move onto 44 points, more than ever before at this stage in what is now their sixth second-division campaign. Heidenheim are again knocking fiercely on the door to the Bundesliga, just as they did last term, when they eventually fell two points short after staying in the running for much of the season. A win at the Millerntor would see FCH leapfrog both Hamburg and Stuttgart, who meet on Thursday evening.

Jos Luhukay's side thus have a tough job ahead of them. The Boys in Brown, who have collected 25 of their 33 points at the Millerntor, are hoping some improved tackling in defence and greater efficiency in front of the opposition goal will carry them to their third home win on the trot. They can take confidence from their home record against the league's best teams this season. Be it the 3-0 defeat of table-toppers Arminia Bielefeld, the 2-0 victory over HSV or the 1-1 draw against Stuttgart, Jos Luhukay's side have impressed every time a promotion candidate has visited the Millerntor. More of the same on Wednesday evening would be most welcome.


Photo: Witters