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After six training sessions in Hamburg, the Boys in Brown will continue their preparations for the second half of the season in the Spanish town of Oliva from Thursday. Before setting off, head coach Markus Kauczinski looked ahead to the eight-day training camp and gave his views on...

...the injury situation:
Svend Brodersen will make the trip but we'll have to wait and see when he can resume training. Jeremy Dudziak has trained as normal again and Richard Neudecker has stepped up his workload. Both will be available at the start of training camp. Robin Himmelmann has a hip problem, so we'll have to see when he can join in. As a precaution, we're taking youth keeper Leon Schmidt with us.

...the content of the sessions:
The complex tactical work will be the main focus. We'll try out various things, working primarily in the area of tactics and on our playing system – be that with one or two strikers or operating in a 4-1-4-1, as we did in the second half against Magdeburg. That'll be an option in certain situations to allow us to switch faster during a game. We want to be flexible to be able to react quickly during a game.

...the focus in the warm-up matches:
We've already used the recent days to practice our tactics. Pressing, defensive work, tackling and the distance between the lines are some of the themes we'll be working on.

...the competition for places in general:
The lads have to keep proving themselves, it's relatively open. Every player has the chance to show what he can do. Lads such as Christopher Avevor and Marvin Knoll were cornerstones in the first half of the season. You noticed when they didn't play, but I'll be making sure they continue to perform.

...the competition for places in goal:
We have enough games and have increased the times of the warm-up matches to two halves of 60 minutes to make sure everyone has a chance to stake a claim. Robin Himmelmann, who had a good first half of the season, raised his game again in the last few matches and is among the mainstays of the team, clearly stands out but he too has to keep demonstrating his ability and proving himself.

...the competition for places in defensive midfield:
It's good in my view. I'm pleased we have so many good lads and that we can vary things. Over the course of the season we've seen we need everyone. We have lots of alternatives and options.

...Alex Meier:
He's very modest, reserved and absolutely determined. He fits in very well. It's still hard to tell where he's at performance-wise, but his quality in front of goal is apparent. I'm expecting a lot from the warm-up games to see how we have to deploy him and who he fits together with best. We know about his quality, but he hasn't played for a while. The first impressions in training have been positive. Let's see how things are when we get down to business.

...Marc Hornschuh:
He's training and training well. He had a break yesterday because of the workload. Marc is pain-free and in good spirits. After the long layoff we have to be careful, like we were with Ryo, and keep taking a day out.

...Cenk Sahin:
He takes things on board, tries everything and contributes well. I'm absolutely satisfied with that. He's put in some decent performances but has the potential for more. We're trying to draw that out together. Cenk simply has a lot of competition. The others had their noses in front in the first half of the season. Cenk has to get past Ryo Miyaichi, he'll need to be better than Waldemar Sobota and then we have Mats Møller Dæhli as well. It's an open race.

...further changes to the squad:
We're keeping our eyes and ears open to perhaps do something in anticipation of the summer, but we aren't compelled to do anything now. In principle, I think we're well placed. We have a strong and very balanced squad which has taken us to where we are now.


Photos: Witters


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