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Schultz: "What we don't want here is standstill"

The ink is dry on the signature – head coach Timo Schultz has extended his Millerntor stay. We spoke to Schulle not only about his new contract but also about his time with the club so far and the tasks ahead of him.

Hi Timo, to begin with we'd like to ask you to finish this sentence for us, please. For me, St. Pauli is … 

…something of a second family now. I enjoy coming here every day. The players might not be my kids, but they do take a similar amount of looking after (he laughs). After such a long time, it isn't simply an employer-employee relationship, it's something special.

Why was extending your contract a no-brainer from your point of view?  

It wasn't, to be honest (he grins). I gave a lot of thought to how things were to continue for me and for the club. These are things you look at all the time and not just when a contract is about to expire. What goals do you have for yourself and where do you want to end up? How are things for you and your family? There are lots of aspects that enter the equation and yet it was clear for me relatively quickly that I want to take the next steps at FC St. Pauli. The club and I are very ambitious and up for driving the project forward both on and off the pitch.

On the footballing side, you've seen the club at almost every level. So what makes it stand out in your view?

It's precisely this sense of togetherness that makes the club as a whole stand out. It's been like that ever since I've been here, whether you're walking through the district, attending a game on matchday or spending time in the club offices or here at the training ground. It's like one big family where everyone sticks together even when times are tough. While you can always be critical of one another, of course, it's important to know you can rely on one another when it comes down to it.

If you think back to the time before you signed your first contract as first-team head coach and summarise your time in charge so far, to what extent have your hopes, plans and expectations been met?  

It's actually turned out how I imagined it would quite specifically. I'd been assistant coach here for years, I know the club, the ground, the fans and the press. I could have done without the experience of the first 15 or 16 games, but that's all part of the game. I always knew there would be phases where you go several games without a win and languish in regions of the table you'd prefer to avoid but I was prepared for it. We were convinced of our plan and always confident it would take hold. People who know me know I'm a relaxed and rational person. Not everything was bad when we weren't doing so well in the table. We're top of the table now and have picked up lots of points, but I still see a whole host things in my everyday dealings, on the pitch at the weekend and in terms of the infrastructure where I know all too well that we have to do better.

What will be the main points of your work with the lads over the next few weeks?  

We will continue to do well to take each game as it comes and make sure the lads are in the best possible shape – both mentally and physically. There's still a long way to go this season with a number of major obstacles to negotiate. We'll need all our energy for that. And if there are setbacks, we have to stay true to ourselves and keep approaching the next game constructively. We want to win games and keep enjoying our football and embodying what made us so strong in the first half of the season. On top of that, of course, I have lots of ideas about how we can keep developing and where we can tweak a few things. Andreas Bornemann and I discuss every day where we can do more and what we can change in terms of our concept. What we don't want here is standstill. 

 

Photos: FC St. Pauli

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