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The final game of the year is approaching. Ahead of his second game at the brown-and-white helm, head coach Markus Kauczinski today fielded questions from the Hamburg media about Monday evening's visit of VfL Bochum (2030 CET), which marks the start of the second part of the season.

"We want to give the fans a Christmas present and play an attractive game of football," said Kauczinski. In order to do that, however, the Boys in Brown have a mountain of work to do. Christopher Buchtmann, Mats Møller Dæhli and captain Bernd Nehrig are all sidelined, and Lasse Sobiech is also a doubt with a pelvis injury. "There are always phases in football when everything comes at once," the St. Pauli boss continued. "The key thing now is to even that out and go into the game with passion and courage."

The injury situation represents an opportunity for players who haven't seen much action this season to get more playing time. "I know what everyone is capable of and we have a number of lads in reserve who can fill the gaps," said Kauczinski. "This week was my first full week in charge and so the task was to get to know these players and let them know what their jobs are."

"It won't all be perfect," he added, "but it doesn't have to be. We want to win and everything else is secondary." The Boys in Brown are looking to go into the winter break with a victory to allow them to prepare for the remainder of the season with the requisite peace of mind from 2 January. "We expect the injury situation to improve and once that's happened I'm convinced I can bring the players on, though that won't happen at the press of button and will take some time," said Kauczinski. After the Bochum game the players will sign off for the short winter break – hopefully three points better off.


Photo: Witters