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Two days before the game at Arminia Bielefeld (Friday, 1830 CET), head coach Olaf Janßen fielded questions from the Hamburg media at the pre-match press conference. The 51-year-old made clear that he expected a completely different performance from his side after the 4-0 drubbing at Fürth.

As usual, Janßen began with a look at the injury situation. Besides long-term absentees Philipp Ziereis, Ryo Miyaichi and Marc Hornschuh, Richard Neudecker will also miss out. "Richy gave a good performance for the Under-23s but has been ruled out by an inflamed Achilles tendon," he said. And with Bernd Nehrig serving a one-match ban, Lasse Sobiech will wear the captain's armband. The centre-back had a muscle problem earlier in the week but is fully match fit.

It remains to be seen which players Janßen will field at Bielefeld on Friday evening. After the recent 4-0 defeat at Fürth the 51-year-old said he was "hugely disappointed" by his team. "After a performance like that I could well make personnel and tactical changes," he said, before adding that has players had made clear that it the display would remain a one-off occurrence.

"I'm confident that every player who is selected will do his utmost to show a different face," he said. "We'll be watching very closely who gives his all, not only for himself, but also for the team and the club. Last season the team showed that they were drawing energy from each other. We need to see that again. I'm convinced that will be the case.

"At Fürth we didn't show the desire to win the game at all costs. We need to have that kind of desire on the pitch, both in training and during games. Any player who shows the right attitude, desire and determination in training is welcome. The desire to be successful is the fuel for our engine."

With one eye on the table, where the Boys in Brown occupy eighth place, albeit just three points above the drop zone, Janßen said: "The season has shown how evenly balanced the league is. We're dealing with the situation with respect and humility. No one is wasting time looking up the table. Our league position is of secondary importance on Friday. Winning the game has to be the only thing on our minds. There can be no alternative."

The 51-year-old concluded with a look at the opposition. "They made a sensational start to the season with ten points from four games. They then went through a sticky patch but won at Kaiserslautern last time out and are above us in the table. Arminia battle and run like no other team in the league – we have a huge job ahead of us. They press the ball very aggressively and get it forward quickly, which is awkward for any team. They won't roll out the red carpet for us – on the contrary. They'll throw everything at it on their own ground."


Photo: Witters