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Hürzeler: “It’s time to give the fans something back”

FC St. Pauli entertain second-placed FC Magdeburg this Sunday (13:30 CET). In the run-up to the game, head coach Fabian Hürzeler spoke about…

...the personnel situation: “Karol Mets is still suspended and Maurides and Etienne Amenyido are still sidelined, but otherwise everyone’s available.”

...replacing the suspended Karol Mets: “I very much liked Adam Dźwigała and David Nemeth in defence and I’m glad we have so much quality in the squad. Both have strengths on the ball. David did very well when he came on against Fürth. We’ll have to see how much he really can do after his long injury layoff.”

...the role of new acquisition Scott Banks: “Like Dapo, Scott is a very inquisitive player and eager to learn, which makes things very easy for us on the coaching team and the staff. He comes from the fourth division in England, so it’s a different intensity and we need to build him up gently so he can get used to the new workload, but he’s obviously an option for the starting lineup.”

...the added flexibility in attack: “The new signings have given us more flexibility up top. Andreas Albers is always an option as an out-and-out target man. We’ve also let Dapo Afolayan and Danel Sinani play up front. Dapo, in particular, has plenty of pace and depth in his play. Danel moves intelligently in the gaps. Another alternative is Johannes Eggestein, who always gives his all in training and has good finishing qualities in the box. They’re all different types of player with their own strengths. We’re weighing things up and have to consider what fits for Magdeburg. They’re a side who press very high up the field. We’re having a look at that and then we’ll decide who plays.”

...the mood in the squad: “We’re definitely fired up for the game. Games at the Millerntor are always a special and unrivalled experience. It’s time to give the fans something back after the first three matches. The players are feeling good and the intensity in training is very good, so we hope we can bring that intensity and elan to the pitch, which is something that can have a decisive influence on the outcome.”

...opponents Magdeburg: “They’re one of the best teams we’ll entertain here at the Millerntor. I’ve charted their progress from the third division and find it incredibly exciting, partly because we got a sense of how good they can be in the DFB Cup. They went up with that style of play. They then had a spell when things didn’t go so well but stayed true to their philosophy and it paid off. They were able to compensate for the players they lost. They have individual quality with a good mix. Goalkeeper Dominik Reimann operates as a playmaker from the back. In the middle they have strong runners such as Amara Condé. In Luca Schuler, they have an excellent striker who was out injured for a long time but offers lots of depth up front. In Jason Çeka, Tatsuya Itō and Barış Atik they also have very small players who are good dribblers and move well in the gaps, so it’s a big challenge for us, but we’re happy to be playing here at the Millerntor and want to give the fans something back in the form of all three points.”

Photos: Witters