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Hürzeler: “Players should switch off”

The Boys in Brown trained for the final time on Thursday before being given time off to recharge their batteries – both physically and mentally. After the session, head coach Fabian Hürzeler took time out to answer questions from the media representatives in attendance.

Fabian Hürzeler on...

…the cancelled Braunschweig friendly: “We have too many players who aren’t available to play even though they can train. David Nemeth hasn’t trained, as we don’t want to take any unnecessary risks after his case of osteitis pubis. Scott Banks is injured, Marcel Hartel was carrying a knock and Eric Smith pulled out of training. We didn’t want to take too much of a risk by letting some players play for 60, 70 or even 90 minutes. We discussed it with Braunschweig and took the decision. Thanks again from here to Eintracht for understanding and reacting the way they did.”

…the timetable for the weekend: “We want the players to get their mental freshness back. After speaking to them we decided to give them tomorrow off to clear their minds. They’ve earned it. We’ve packed the season full so far and never really given them two days off at a time, or at least I can’t remember it if we did. The lads are pulling their weight and training incredibly hard, and that goes for this week, too, but football is also a mental game, and they should have a chance to switch off occasionally. They should go home to their families because they’ll really switch off then.”

…Etienne Amenyido and Maurides: “They’re back with us but not fit to play yet and wouldn’t have been available to play in the friendly at Braunschweig. We’re taking it steady with both of them, but I’m glad to have them back on the training ground. I’ve always said that Eti gives us added value. His body has repeatedly got in the way in the past. We need consistency in his ability to cope with the workload. That will be the key to having him back on the pitch long term.”

…new signing Simon Zoller: “Simon is raring to go and full of energy, you can tell. He’s come here and radiates this desire. In discussions and meetings you can tell he wants to internalise our football philosophy straightaway. He’s making progress, too, but we didn’t sign him to go straight into the team against Kiel. We’re thinking long term with him as well. He’s here to help us during the season and we’ll have to weigh up whether he’s ready for a place in the squad or not. In Andreas Albers and Johannes Eggestein we have two good alternatives who’ve trained well.”

…Scott Banks, who tore a cruciate at Braunschweig: “Scott will be out a long time. He had surgery on Wednesday.”

…Carlo Boukhalfa: “Obviously it isn’t easy when you’re behind in the pecking order and not getting playing time. He puts his foot down in training, always getting stuck in and trying to improve. I’m glad to have him in the squad. We’re trying to make him better like we do with everyone else. He has to keep his motivation levels high himself, and he’s been doing that very well. I hope he’ll get his reward eventually, but we have Jackson Irvine, Marcel Hartel and Connor Metcalfe as well in his position. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with his progress and intensity in training. It fuels the competition for places.”

…the international players: “I’ll try to have a look at every game, if not live then later. We’ve agreed the lads should write to me to let me know whether they play or not. Elias wrote that it’s a different football world where he is at the moment. He also wrote that he won’t be starting. We can be proud of having so many internationals. They’ve earned it. I think we have more potential internationals in the squad. We'll try to push the players and develop them.”

Photos: Witters