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Irvine: "The fans can give us an extra edge that can make the difference"

Jackson Irvine has some busy weeks ahead of him – both for the Boys in Brown and for Australia. But that didn't stop him taking time out to meet the media ahead of the home game against Heidenheim this Friday (18:30 CET).

...the possibility of a sell-out crowd against Heidenheim on Friday: "I think it will be huge for everybody. We've been waiting a long time for this moment to be able to play in front of a full stadium. It'll be the first time for a lot of us. The atmosphere will be crucial, too. I think the fans can play a big role for us, especially at this stage of the season when every game is so important. Having a full stadium is going to be vital and give us that extra edge that can make the difference. I expect an intense game against tough opponents who have as much to play for as we do."

...all the travelling during the international breaks: "It's never bothered me. I'm as fresh as always. This is normal for me and something I've been dealing with for many years, normally during a 46-game Championship season in England rather than 34 games here, so it's totally normal and makes no difference to me."

...working with assistant coach Loic Favé: "We've got a really good relationship. He has great attention to detail and dedication to the job, same as all the staff here. Everyone at St. Pauli is really motivated and always trying to look for new ways to improve and adapt the way we play. His biggest quality for me is his attention to small details because those small improvements can help us in a big way."

...the World Cup in Qatar and a possible boycott by the participating teams: "I don't think a boycott or teams not competing at the World Cup will bring any good at this stage because it's an issue that's been going on a long time. I mean, it's good that people are more aware of the way that it's impacting the workers in Qatar. For us it's about trying to bring about positive change by educating ourselves and raising awareness of why these issues are important so we can be aware of the impact we can have if we get there."

...forthcoming opponents FC Heidenheim: "I'm expecting a tough game against quality opposition. They caused us a lot of problems in this game earlier in the season, especially in the first half. We made a few tweaks and small adjustments at half-time, and we were much better in the second half."

...his recent holding role in midfield: "It's new to me here but it's not new to me throughout my career. For me it's about trying to bring my qualities to the game and doing what I can for the team, whether I play at the bottom or the side of the diamond or as a number ten."

...what is still achievable at international and club level: "It's an incredibly exciting time not just for me but for the group as well. We're really embracing the challenge and are fully prepared and excited for what is to come. With the national team it's a big opportunity, of course. We're going to have to win both games. I approach every game with the same mentality, and that's compete and win football matches, both for Australia and for St. Pauli, but for me it's about focusing and making sure we bring our best quality on the pitch."


Photos: Witters