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Irvine: "You can feel the energy boost for the players"

The skipper is back on board! Jackson Irvine missed the weekend's game due to illness after returning from the Asian Cup but is back on the training ground now. After his first individual workout on Mallorca, he answered questions from the media representatives who have travelled to Spain.

...a week training in Mallorca: "It's a nice change and something different for us to be away for a few days during the season. You can feel the energy boost for the players from being somewhere like this. It's perfect. The conditions are good for us to get something from the week and it'll be really good preparation for the Braunschweig game. I think we'll train the same as we always do, there'll be no drastic changes, so this week will mainly be about finding new solutions."

...his physical shape: "Today I only did part of the session. I haven't resumed full training yet, as I was quite sick last week. I had a really bad week, so it's good to be back to normal now and hopefully I'll be able to do some more work tomorrow with the team."

...the performances of the team during his absence: "The boys played fantastically well in all the games while we were away. I'm always proud of the effort they put in every week. I was in close contact with the staff and the players and so I know how hard they've been working over this month. For me it's just about getting back involved in that and contributing as I always try to do with this team."

...Aljoscha Kemlein, who slotted into his position in the last few weeks: "He's been superb. He plays well above his experience and he's been a joy to watch. He's made a huge first impression and he'll be a really valuable asset for us for the rest of the season."

...opponents Eintracht Braunschweig: "We were 1-0 up in the reverse fixture and conceded late, so it was disappointing. It was during a spell where we were struggling to find goals. And of course Braunschweig were the only team to come and beat us at the Millerntor last season, so there's a little bit of substance to the game. It's good for us as we have a bit of point to prove in some ways. Braunschweig are in fantastic form at the moment, so we'll have to be at our best to make the best of our own game and stop them doing well."

...a special phone call before training: "Someone from the staff from RCD Mallorca came to me and said he had someone on the phone who wanted to speak to me. It was Antonio Reguero, an old teammate of mine. He's a great guy and a great goalkeeper. We played together at Kilmarnock ten years ago. He's back in Madrid now and retired. I hadn't heard his voice in ten years, so it was a nice surprise."

Photos: Witters/FC St. Pauli