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Hürzeler calls on players to be brave and have faith in their ability

Three points will be at stake again for the first time since the goalless draw against Holstein Kiel in the final home game before the mid-season break 90 days ago when the Boys in Brown run out against Hannover 96 at the Millerntor on Sunday (13.30 CET). In the run-up to the first home game since the league returned to action, head coach Fabian Hürzeler took time out to answer questions from the media.

Fabian Hürzeler on…

...the personnel situation: "David Nemeth, Luca Zander and Etienne Amenyido are still out. Adam Dźwigała is carrying a few knocks from the Nürnberg game and I don’t expect him to rejoin the squad. Maurides had a slight knee problem after the warm-up game against Oldenburg and so we took him out of training for two days but I hope he'll be back today. Otherwise, everyone will be available."

...a possible start for Oladapo Afolayan: "He's trained very well, like everyone else. Everyone deserves a chance. We'll see on Sunday whether Dapo gets the chance."

...the recent barren spell at home and desire for more spectacle: "I'm happy when we keep a clean sheet because if we do that, we have a very good chance of winning the game. I'm convinced we have the attacking quality to create two or three really good chances and then it's all about being effective. We were effective at Nürnberg and that will remain our objective. At my first press conference I said it's all about finding the right balance between defensive stability and attacking threat. Being solid at the back will always be on our agenda and keeping a clean sheet will always be the foundation, so I'm happy to do without the spectacular, even if that's what the fans would like to see."

Fabian Hürzeler will make his Millerntor debut as head coach against Hannover 96.

Fabian Hürzeler will make his Millerntor debut as head coach against Hannover 96.

...the opposition: "Hannover are a team who rely on intensity and are incredibly robust. Their three-man backline is very rugged and forever involved in direct duels, and in Sei Muroya and Derrick Köhn they have two full-backs who patrol the line and hit good crosses. We expect Hendrik Weydandt to play up front and Hannover to play in similar fashion to Nürnberg."

...our own style of play: "We have to be brave and have faith in our own ability. Defensively, we have to operate from a more compact base and not let the space open up too much after long balls. We need more personnel for the second balls here. We have to match the intensity that Hannover generate and give as good as we get. We have the footballing means to hold our own. We can play much better with the ball than we did against Nürnberg and that has to be our objective. We aim to bring our strengths to the pitch. If we can do that, we do well against any opponent. The better we play football, the more likely we are to win games."

...the first home game in three months: "It's a mixture of nerves and looking forward to it, though I'm obviously looking forward to it more - to the fans and a packed Millerntor. I'm not worried about the reception I get. I'm trying to act with the club in mind and success on the pitch. For me it's important that the team get the maximum support and that's down to the players as well. They have to try to transfer the energy and intensity to the stands and ensure the fans are brought on board and give us their support. That's why I'm not worried about the reception I get."

Photos: Witter

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