BOYS IN BROWN KEEN TO KEEP MOMENTUM GOING AT KIEL
Thursday, 06. May 2021, 18:10 Uhr
Timo Schultz's charges go into the end-of-season run-in with their batteries fully charged after their recent weekend off and determined to add to their points total at third-placed Holstein Kiel on Friday evening (18:30 CET). They go up against a Kiel side hoping to boost their chances of promotion with three crucial points in light of a Covid-related fixture pile-up at the business end of the campaign.
With the season slowly coming to an end, the Boys in Brown have just 270 minutes of football left to play – first at Kiel, then at home to Hannover and finishing with a trip to Regensburg. Nine points are up for grabs and his side will be doing everything they can to get them, head coach Timo Schultz told the media in the build-up. It will be a tough ask on the Baltic coast, but in a hitherto outstanding second half of the season they have shown that they are more than capable of delivering the goods.
Despite securing their second division status for another season in late April, the Boys in Brown are not about to let the campaign drift to a close. On the contrary, they remain highly motivated and desperate to maintain their excellent run of form. "Our aim is to finish the season as best we can," said goalkeeper Dejan Stojanović ahead of the game before adding: "We go into every game looking to win it. We'll simply try to achieve the maximum and see where we end up."
The first stop on their way to a possible maximum is at Kiel on Friday evening. Yet the Storks have their sights set on a maximum of their own, of course, and that is automatic promotion to the Bundesliga. Ole Werner's team sit third at the moment, but do have two games in hand, and victories in the Covid-rearranged games against Hannover (Montag, 10 May) and Jahn Regensburg (Thursday, 13 May) would take them above Greuther Fürth in the table.
Kiel's destiny will depend on whether their energy reserves hold out. A couple of two‑week quarantine breaks in March and April left them facing a packed end‑of‑season schedule with nine games in just a few weeks. Though Borussia Dortmund proved a step too far in a 5-0 DFB Cup semi-final defeat last weekend, Kiel showed they were back to their best in Tuesday's rescheduled fixture against Sandhausen, deservedly winning by two goals to nil to go third on 53 points from 29 games and leapfrog both Hamburg and Düsseldorf (52 points from 31 games) in the process.
Third spot and a play-off place is the minimum goal for Kiel in a little over two weeks, and a win on Friday evening would put them well on their way. But the Boys in Brown will be no pushovers, of course, and they will be going flat out in search of all three points, as Schultz was keen to point out: "When the opening whistle goes, we'll get the ball forward and chuck everything at it. Holstein Kiel can get themselves ready for that."