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Hürzeler: “Huge trust between Peter and the players”

FC St. Pauli go to Fortuna Düsseldorf for the weekend’s top fixture on Saturday night (20.30 CET), and with head coach Fabian Hürzeler absent from the touchline due to a one-match ban, assistant coach Peter Neméth will deputise. In the run-up to the game, Hürzeler took time out to speak to the media.

Fabian Hürzeler on…

...the constraints of being banned: “There’s more allowed than we thought. There’s a big difference between a yellow-card ban and one for a red card. I can be with the team before the game and at half-time. It’ll definitely be tough for me emotionally. I’ll look for a space where I can be there for the team and help them as far as that’s possible from a distance.”

...the special situation for the players under assistant coach Peter Németh: “The players aren’t letting the fact that I’ll be missing get to them too much. I can see the lads are simply looking forward to the game and that they’re there for Peter and have been supporting and encouraging him during the week. There’s huge trust between Peter and the players. The lads know Peter would do everything for them and it’s the same the other way round. Peter really knows his stuff and I have every confidence in him. He has loads of experience and a special eye for the game. He knows exactly how you win games.”

...communicating from the stand to the touchline: “We’ll definitely take advantage of everything that’s allowed. We don’t know yet how the contact will work exactly. When I’m on the bench, we’re always in contact with our video analysts in the stand. Ole Marschall usually sits there, and sometimes Sami Pierau as well. They’re in constant touch with goalkeeper coach Marco Knoop as well. They talk a lot in general, but not everything gets through to me, which is right because I’m focused on the game. If I notice certain things, I discuss them with the bench and then it’s about recognising patterns during play such as spaces and the way individual players are behaving. We try to touch on these things in certain phases of the game or at half-time. That won’t change.”

...the special conditions surrounding the weekend’s top fixture: “To begin with, I’m expecting top opposition. Düsseldorf are a very disciplined side. They have the best attack and lots of individual quality. It’s an evening kick-off under the lights and both teams will get stuck in. We’ll try to prepare as well as we can to be able to get the win there.”

...opponents Fortuna Düsseldorf and their style of play: “Düsseldorf have a very good mix of speed, technical ability and size, which makes them a genuine top side. They’ve played with a back five against us before, but I think they’ll go with a back four. What’s evident is that they operate a very man-oriented defence off the ball. The wide players drop back, they have a clear system of who marks who. You don’t see too much of the back four then because they have a rigorous man-oriented defence along the backline". That’s usually hard to play against, so we’ll need to have excellent movement and good positioning.”

Photos: Witters