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Two days before the next key relegation clash at Fortuna Düsseldorf, Ewald Lienen spoke to the Hamburg media about his approach to the game, the injury situation and our forthcoming opponents.

For head coach Ewald Lienen, the line of approach for the game at Fortuna Düsseldorf is clear. "We have to be stable at the back," he said at the pre-match press conference. "The task will be to keep the ball away from our goal to make sure Fortuna and their strong attacking players never get going. To do that, we'll need to give it all we've got, show what we can do and keep things very tight." The attitude of his players won't be a problem in this quest, of that Lienen is certain. "The players know that every game counts," he explained.

Lienen has no concerns on the injury front either, as Maurice Litka (rehab after an MCL sprain) is the only player not in full training. "Maurice is making very good progress, however," said Lienen of his midfielder. Lasse Sobiech's shoulder is also not as bad as first feared. The defender had a big ice pack on the injury after the game against Kickers Würzburg. "Lasse sustained some heavy bruising but he's already back in training," said Lienen, issuing the all-clear regarding the centre-back's availability.

Lienen was unable to issue the all-clear with regard to Fortuna, however. "Düsseldorf are a decent side who carry a substantial attacking threat," he said. "They have quick forwards in their ranks in players such as Rouwen Hennings and Ihlas Bebou, which is one reason why they're very flexible in attack. They're also a very experienced team. They may have only won twice in the second half of the season, but the recent draws against Union Berlin (2-2) and Dynamo Dresden (1-1) are an indication of the quality they possess."

No matter how Düsseldorf perform on Friday evening, however, Lienen's approach remains the same: "Defensive stability is the secret to success," he said. "If we're to get a result at Fortuna, we have to make sure we have that."


Photos: Witters