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A marked improvement after the restart helped the Boys in Brown to victory over Heidenheim on Friday evening. After the final whistle, the mood in the camp was one of satisfaction, of course.

Head coach Timo Schultz: "When you take three points at home against really strong opponents, your recap is obviously going to be a positive one. Huge praise to the players for the way they defended. The lads provided excellent cover for each other and communicated well on the pitch. They were up for it from the off. You could tell before the game they were really on top of things. It tells you something when you have 20 attempts on goal against Heidenheim's 11. We finally kept a clean sheet again, which says a lot for Nikola Vasilj and his defence and, above all, the way the whole team defended. It's going to be important in the run-in for us to become even more stable and give even less away. It was a good step forward today; we've completely changed our approach to a couple of things since the Hannover game. I'm obviously pleased we haven't conceded, but I'd like to stress that we're a side who like to attack. We're creative, impudent and brave and want to score goals. We did that all year and it's what made us so strong. We don't just have one or two days to take a breather now but a whole week. We need it, too, I have to be very clear about that. The last few weeks have taken it out of the lads who have played. We're happy to take a breather for a couple of days and then we'll look forward to the game at Rostock. I don't need to tell anyone that it's a special game and will be very heated. As for the fans, it's extremely rare for them to judge us by a result, it's how it came about that's more important. How do the lads conduct themselves on the pitch, to what extent do they leave their hearts on the pitch, how hard do they go into the tackle? That's more important for the fans. I think we had a team out there today; everyone saw that. Whenever we've had a sticky patch, the fans have intervened and given us good support. When we've been on a roll, we've been able to give them something back with some decent moments."

Leart Paqarada: "It was exactly the kind of game we were expecting. It was very hard-fought against a physically strong side who are full of running. We threw everything at it and that's why we deserved to take the lead and win in the end."

Jakov Medić: "It's an incredible feeling. It was very important today to keep a clean sheet and get three points. In this stadium and this atmosphere it's incredible. It was brilliant today and we won as well. The upcoming break is very important for us mentally."

Frank Schmidt (Heidenheim head coach): "Overall, we defended very well but unfortunately we didn't take our chances. It's annoying not to have been given a penalty, but that's not meant as an excuse. It was clear the pressure would increase in the second half. We couldn't keep the ball away from our goal as well and needed our keeper a couple of times. All in all, we had the chances to take at least a point. There isn't much I can reproach the team for. It was a good and valiant performance for long periods. It's bitterly disappointing for us, I'd have wished more for my players."


Photo: Witters