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"THE BREAK WAS LONG ENOUGH" - KAUCZINSKI AND STÖVER ON THE START OF PRE-SEASON

No sooner had the first training session of the 2018/19 season finished than head coach Markus Kauczinski and director of sport Uwe Stöver took time out to talk in detail about how things stand at the club and look ahead to the next few weeks.

For Markus Kauczinski it was about time. Time to get started. "The lads were really up for it and went full throttle," said Kauczinski on his first day back at work. "I was looking forward to getting back into training as well. Although we went to the US post-season, it felt more like a holiday, so the break was definitely long enough."

The St. Pauli boss then gave an update on the injury situation: "Marc Hornschuh is still in rehab in Bavaria but will probably come back to Hamburg next week. Bernd Nehrig is also in rehab with a stubborn calf problem, but we hope he'll be able to resume training soon."

'New boy' Mats Møller Dæhli should also be back in full training very shortly after returning from international duty with a slight inflammation in his ankle, but a forecast as far as Ryo Miyaichi is concerned is a little less certain. "After he injured his knee in May, the Japanese doctors recommended a conservative course of treatment without an arthroscopy and that's the path Ryo has now decided to take," Kauczinski explained. "We're going down that path with him and we'll see how things progress."

It is also not 100% certain when Aziz Bouhaddouz will resume training. "We'll get in touch with Aziz when he leaves Russia with the national team," said Kauczinski. "I expect him to hook up with the team at training camp in the second week of July."

Many journalists wanted to know whether the club would be making any more signings, of course. Here, director of sport Uwe Stöver remains relaxed. "We'd like to, but we don't have to," he said. "We'll only do something if we can raise the quality of the squad by doing so.

Turning his attention to the new campaign, Stöver went on: "We can't be satisfied with 12th place last season. For us it's a question of doing things better and showing a different side to ourselves, make no bones about it. A single-digit place in the table is an absolute must and we'll be looking to challenge in the top third," he said, setting out the pre-season target.  

The director of sport said several things had been done to ensure that came about. In Alexander Blase an additional physiotherapist had been appointed, for example, to work alongside Dominik Körner and Mike Muretic full-time. Improvements had also been made on the administrative side. "In Jonas Wömmel we've recruited a new team manager who will deal with all organisational matters," Stöver said before concluding: "Our intention in making these changes is to optimise things on every level, avoid mistakes and offer the players professional support."

 

Photo: FC St. Pauli

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