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Hürzeler: "They won't come and watch us get promoted"

FC St. Pauli take on relegated VfL Osnabrück in the final home game of the league season on Sunday (13.30 CET). Head coach Fabian Hürzeler looked ahead to the game in conversation with the media this morning.

Fabian Hürzeler on…

...his personnel: "Manolis Saliakas is suspended, unfortunately, and Philipp Treu, Erik Ahlstrand and Simon Zoller are in recovery training. Everyone else is fit and an option for the starting lineup."

...filling the gap on the right-hand side of defence: "We have enough options for replacing Manos. Connor Metcalfe is one, as is Adam Dźwigała, and we also have Eric da Silva Moreira, who's trained very well in the last few days and weeks. We have to weigh up what shape the players are in physically. If Connor goes over to the right, Lars Ritzka will play on the left."

...the mood in the camp ahead of such a crunch game: "We've already had a lot of important games this season and we'll approach it like any other. At the start of the week the lads were disappointed with the way the derby unfolded, their performance and the result. We've gone over the game and football is all about quickly turning your focus to the next game and looking at what we can do better. The mood has steadily improved during the week. Everyone knows what's at stake."

...VfL Osnabrück: "In the second half of the reverse fixture they were the first team to cause us major problems. They deservedly won the friendly [in the winter break] 3-1. They found a style of play with a man-oriented approach and quick transitions that we struggled to cope with. They have the players for it. They have nothing to lose coming here and can play with freedom. They won't come and watch us get promoted. They'll try to offer serious opposition."

...the game plan: "The key thing will be to have the momentum on our side and an early lead would do us good. Osnabrück are very man-oriented and we have to deal with that, so we mustn't be too static. We have to rotate a lot and move out of our positioning so they can't maintain their man-orientation. That'll be one factor, another will be to be good against the ball. Osnabrück have players like Dave Gnaase and Michael Cuisance who know what to do with it and we'll need to press with intensity. If we do that, we'll have a chance of winning the game here at home."

...getting promoted without playing if Kiel beat Düsseldorf: "We'll take it as it comes. As I said last week, may the best team win. Looking from afar, I'm expecting a 50-50 game. We can only control what we do, nothing else. We have a chance to settle it ourselves on Sunday and that's all we're focusing on."

...looking forward to the Osnabrück game: "We always look forward to it. We're at home in front of our fans, who've carried us throughout the season. I hope they'll give us an extra lift again. Being a fortress again will be important. That's come about because of the fans and the atmosphere. I hope and I'm convinced the fans will turn it up another notch and create an even better atmosphere. The players have earned it and they need it as well."


Photos: Witters