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The Boys in Brown return to action at the Millerntor on Tuesday evening (18.00 CET) when they play host to fellow second-division side FC Schalke 04 in Round 2 of the DFB Cup. In the run-up, head coach Fabian Hürzeler took questions from the media at the pre-match news conference.

Fabian Hürzeler on…

...opponents Schalke 04 after the change of coach: “Something has changed in the way they play. They’re operating with a back five and we expect them to sit back and wait for a chance to break. We have to keep emphasising that Schalke are always capable of getting a goal, as they showed against Hannover. In Kenan Karaman and Bryan Lasme, they have two fast players up front who switch the play quickly but can also hold the ball up. They’re also very solid now with their back five, so although the formation has changed a little, they remain a threat and we all know the cup is a law unto itself. We’ll try everything to progress to the next round and give it our best shot.”

...managing the workload in a three-match week: “All the players came through the Karlsruhe game OK and are available. That’s very positive. We’ll see how we rotate. The fixture list isn’t the best, of course, but it shows what depth we have. Every player can be enormously valuable over the course of the season and every player has a chance to prove that. The intensity in training is very high and everyone who plays has earned it with their performances. We accept the challenge posed by three matches in quick succession. We pull together even more closely then, including the staff. Matches are highlights and always very special for me.”

...solutions against teams who sit back: “It’s important for us to stick to our principles and fine-tune them instead of turning everything upside down. We’ve analysed the Paderborn and Karlsruhe matches together and talked about the things that weren’t good. Your opponents are always a factor, of course, and they’ve all done well in the last few games, but we know why that was and where we have to improve. Schalke will be a challenge, too.”

...the special nature of the DFB Cup: “Obviously we want to get the maximum return and progress to the next round for the fans tomorrow. The cup has a certain prestige and a special flair, but our preparations are no different. With the games coming thick and fast, we’ll take a closer look at how every player feels, but my approach is no different to that for a league game. I’ve been involved in several cool cup-ties with St. Pauli and so I’m highly motivated and want to go as far as possible. We’ll see how far we get.”

...the possibility of Sascha Burchert playing in goal “If Beucke plays, he’ll have earned it. I don’t like the term ‘cup keeper’. He’s a leader who’s extremely valuable both on and of the pitch. He’s very professional and pushes his teammates. He gives us so much and if he does play, it’s because he’s earned it.”

...the current high: “The last few games have shown how quickly things can go in a different direction, though winning does give you confidence, of course. You go to training in a different mood when you’ve won. That said, as I keep telling the players, it’s important not to let complacency creep in. We’re in the second division and in Schalke are up against league rivals in another game that can go either way. Like Karlsruhe, Schalke are always capable of scoring out of the blue. It will come down to defending well over 90 minutes, starting from scratch again and getting the momentum on our side to emerge victorious.”


Photos: FC St. Pauli