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IRVINE: "TODAY WAS ABOUT ONE THING ONLY AND THAT WAS THREE POINTS"

What a game! The Boys in Brown won a seven-goal thriller at Kiel thanks to an impressive first-half display. Though the lads were critical of the performance after the interval, they shared the view that tonight was all about three points, and three points was what they got.

Head coach Fabian Hürzeler: "Kiel started well and had the first good chance. We had a bit of luck there. We found our feet after that, our patterns were clearer, and we made one or two adjustments that worked very well. We took the lead and played some really good football after that. We controlled the game and were effective in a way we haven't been recently. Almost every shot went in. Aljoscha Kemlein could and perhaps should have made it 4-0 before the interval. All in all it was a very good first half. Kiel came back out and went for broke. They played really well, whereas we weren't as compact as we were in the first half. We weren't able to bring our possession game to the pitch either. Kiel were very effective and all of a sudden it was only 4-3. We were left biting our nails and Kiel had a huge chance near the end where we were lucky again. All in all that was too much excitement for me today. We could have kept things quieter with the defensive stability that's been our hallmark all season. That's a point where we have to do better and that's what we'll do."

Jackson Irvine: "It was another wild game at Kiel just like it was last year. We knew Kiel would come at us after the break and they livened things up again. They have lots of individual quality and are capable of scoring from all manner of situations, but we also knew we could be a threat with our transitional play on winning possession. We did that well. In the end we could have scored a couple more. Today was about one thing only and that was three points. We had to win this game no matter what. Kiel could have drawn level with us on points but instead we've widened the gap to six. We had to give our all against another team on top form. I'm proud of the way we all gave it everything we had."

Marcel Hartel: "We were outstanding in the first half but didn't start so well after the break. Kiel put us under a lot of pressure and we weren't in it like we were in the first half. We made too many simple mistakes and Kiel switched the play well. We made it far too exciting towards the end. Kiel scored three and we can be glad we got one of our own in the second half. We have lots of individual quality in the squad when you consider Elias Saad was suspended today and Connor Metcalfe came in and gave a very good performance. Aljoscha Kemlein was another who came in and played really well. We have to keep our feet on the ground week in, week out, and can't afford to get ahead of ourselves. Even when you're three-nil up it can get tense again, as we saw today. You have to be alert and go flat out for 90 minutes, simple as that. The three points are incredibly important. We were desperate to get them and that's what we did in spite of the second half performance."

Marcel Rapp (Holstein Kiel coach): "Congratulations to St. Pauli on the win. It's hard to win a game or get a point when you concede four. We started well and had a huge chance to make it 1-0 and then two huge chances to make it 1-1 and yet we found ourselves two down. We then hit a wayward pass and conceded the third and after that it's very tough against St. Pauli, of course. At half-time we said we wanted to show our true colours and keep playing Holstein football. We often say we're a good side with good morale and we showed that in the second half. We came back into it but then suffered a real setback with the fourth goal and yet the lads still managed to get it back to 4-3. If we'd got the equaliser, we'd be sitting here saying we deserved the point. I'm very proud of the team for the way they played against a very good side but we still come away empty-handed. We need to go over it, we can't afford to make so many mistakes, but the performance still gives me cause to be optimistic for the future."

 

Photos: Witters

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