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Hürzeler: "Have to stay true to our style and philosophy"

The second half of the season kicks off for the Boys in Brown at FC Nürnberg on Sunday (13.30 CET). In the run-up to the game, head coach Fabian Hürzeler answered a host of questions from the media representatives at the pre-match news conference.

...the personnel situation: "There are no new injuries and so we have the whole group to choose from apart from David Nemeth, Luca Zander and Etienne Amenyido. I already have a rough idea of the squad but I'm a coach who takes performances in training very much into account. We still have two training sessions to go and I'll wait for them before making a decision."

...the fierce competition for places and possible departures: "A healthy battle for places and high training intensity are very important to me. The players who it's assumed will start games must be challenged to the maximum by the lads who don't start. If they don't do that, it'll be hard for them to make the squad. That's clear to them in every training session and they're pulling their weight accordingly. I hope they'll keep it up. I'm not thinking about possible departures because I'm very happy with the squad. Everyone's pulling their weight really well."

...his competitive debut as head coach: "I feel more excitement than pressure. My aim is to prepare the players in the best possible way so they're ready for any situation. If we lose, I've prepared the team badly, and if we win, the team have done everything right."

...opponents Nürnberg: "We've watched their warm-up matches and they looked effective and cohesive. The backline take a very man-oriented approach and they defended vertically very well. They’re always looking to win the ball and are very good in transition, too. It'll be important for us to impose our game on them but we have to understand that Nürnberg will switch the play quickly whenever we lose possession. They look very fit and in good physical shape and they have good individual quality. We're up against very good opposition and we’ll need to find solutions."

...the new signings and their chance of playing at Nürnberg: "I was already very happy with the squad I had. The lads have been brilliant during the preparations, just like the lads we've brought in. We have a battle for places that has livened up training. The intensity is extremely high, we have lots of players on the training ground and I'm happy they're all there. It may well be the case that the new acquisitions play at Nürnberg. One definitely will. Everything else remains to be seen."

...Oladapo Afolayan, who joined last week: "The lads have given him a warm reception and he feels very comfortable. On the whole, I'm very happy with him. He may be in the squad, but we also have to wait for the medical assessment and see how he's doing. He comes to my office every day and asks what he can do better. That shows what he's like. I talk to him a lot. He hasn't really taken to our challenges yet (eds: competitions take place before every training session and the losers are given special bibs) and he keeps having to put a bib on (he grins). After the first challenge, he had to organise shampoo for the whole group. We hope he's going to improve there."

...the away curse and changes in routine before away games: "I won't be making any major changes. It also depends on how we perform away from home. We don't want to be passive, we want to be active and try to create overloads both on and off the ball. We want to follow our principles and our brand of football and be as active as possible in all phases of the game. It's not a question of whether we're home or away. I try to convey to the team that we have to stay true to our style and our philosophy. If we do that, I'm convinced we'll win matches away from home as well."


Photos: Witters