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Hürzeler: “The lads should and must feel pressure for games like these”

FC St. Pauli entertain Fortuna Düsseldorf in the weekend’s top fixture on Saturday evening (20.30 CET). In the run-up, head coach Fabian Hürzeler spoke to journalists at the customary pre-match news conference. 

Fabian Hürzeler on…

...the injury situation: “Etienne Amenyido and Igor Matanović are back in light training and doing well. David Nemeth is training well and coping with the intensity, but he isn’t a candidate for the squad just yet. Eric Smith is fine and an option for the squad. We all know that Eric is worth his weight in gold, but we also know we have players who are more than capable of standing in for him.”

...the pressure going into the game: “The lads should and must feel pressure for games like these. Without it, you won’t win them. It’s another big challenge for us and an opportunity to show what we can do. If we’re a team with ambitions, we should win games like these. If we do, then we’re definitely one of the league’s top sides. If we fail to meet the challenge, we’ll keep working away to become a top side one of these days.”

Fabian Hürzeler spent more than 30 minutes taking questions from the media at the pre-match news conference.

Fabian Hürzeler spent more than 30 minutes taking questions from the media at the pre-match news conference.

...opponents Fortuna Düsseldorf: “They’re a side with a very mature way of playing who are incredibly resilient and have lots of experience. They know exactly what they have to do to win games. We know what we’re up against. Düsseldorf are incredibly efficient. It’ll be important for us to be solid when we’re defending against the ball. We’ll need to be well organised when we lose possession, press the ball well and defend as a unit. That starts with the front men, who have responsibility of being our first line of defence, but we don’t just want to defend, we want to have the ball.”

...our own style of play: “It’s important that we defend well at home like we did at Darmstadt last time out. That’s the basis. Keeping a clean sheet increases our chance of winning games. I also want is to impose our game on teams. We want to have the ball and dominate. I want us to play football because we have players in our ranks who want the ball. I’m not satisfied if all we do is defend and neither are the players, so we’ll try to play out from the back and look for footballing solutions. We want to stay true to our style of football and be bold, like we have been in recent matches, and not react too much to what the opposition do. We obviously prepare for every opponent, but ultimately we want to progress as a team and continue our process. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m a coach who always comes up with something.”

...why Saturday night games are special: “I’m glad my players have earned the right to enjoy nights like these. Evening kick-offs under the Millerntor lights are always something special. You can’t compare them with lunchtime kick-offs. Second division games are 50:50 affairs where the momentum can turn quickly, so we have to prepare as well as we can regardless of whether the game kicks off at one o’clock or half past eight. I’m hoping for a noisy crowd who get behind us the way they have been doing recently.”

Photos: Witters

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