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The Boys in Brown gave a good performance against FC Heidenheim but were unable to claim their reward in the shape of all three points despite creating several good chances. Afterwards, the mood in the camp was one of satisfaction with the display but not with the draw, even though Heidenheim were the expected tough opposition and had opportunities of their own.

Head coach Timo Schultz: “We worked incredibly hard to no avail. Obviously, it would have been great if the effort from Igor Matanović in the 93rd minute had squirmed over the line. The boys would have deserved it today. We moved the ball around well and created pressure with our passing, which enabled us to keep Heidenheim on the run. It felt like we ran 130 kilometres today and not 115 or 120. It tells you something when even Marcel Hartel gets cramp. I can have no complaints with the lads today, they invested so much and created some great chances. Together we defended really well, and we had a little bit of luck in some situations or a good keeper in Nikola Vasilj. We have to live with the point, though I would have loved all three.”

Marcel Hartel: “We set out to play aggressively as a team, which worked well. We were the busier and better team, especially in the first half, and had some chances without getting our reward. We kept playing our way through well but weren’t clinical enough. We have to make the final pass or be more efficient in front of goal to get results. We’re creating lots of chances and now it’s about taking them. We kept a clean sheet, though, and that’s definitely a positive.”

Lars Ritzka: “It was the expected tough game with lots of runs in behind; we held our own very well. We moved the ball around well but, in the end, perhaps we weren’t clinical enough and had no luck in some situations. It’s just small things we’re talking about, such as composure in front of goal, the desire when it matters, and the conviction. We have to work on these things and we’re capable of turning the ship around. I try to bring my strengths to the table and in training I feel I’m giving my all, so I can look in the mirror and say I’ve given it all I’ve got.”

Igor Matanović: “I tried with all my strength to knock the ball over the line. Unfortunately, there were just inches in it. The goal would have done both me good and the team good. Unfortunately, you have spells when you go ten games without scoring. I’ll keep at it, though, and am giving my all. I came a bit closer today and if I get even closer next time, the ball will cross the line.”

Frank Schmidt (Heidenheim head coach): “I’m satisfied with the draw today. Why? Because we were in the game in the first 15 minutes and then that was it. St. Pauli took control and we stopped closing down the space, which we meant we didn’t get going the way we wanted and had practised in training. On two or three occasions we were lucky not to go behind because St. Pauli got the ball forward quickly with no messing. At half-time we took the opportunity to change things instead of carrying on as we were. The switch to two defensive midfielders did us good, but we couldn’t stick the ball away. Things could have gone badly wrong for us just before the end when Norman Theuerkauf scrambled the ball off the line. If you take the two halves together and look at the clear-cut opportunities, a draw is very much a fair result. We accepted the fight and held our own, so it was a deserved point.”

Photo: Witters