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Jos Luhukay spoke at length to the Hamburg media after training on Saturday, less than 24 hours after the opening home game against Greuther Fürth. Among other things, the 56-year-old head coach touched on...

...the Fürth game: "Fürth converted their chances with extreme efficiency, which left us having to overcome the mental setback of conceding twice in the first half. The lads responded with a great goal on the stroke of half-time and then we hit the bar through Dimi and had that fantastic attack involving Dimi and Ryo where the ball didn't end up in the goal unfortunately. So instead of it being 2-2, we concede a third, which was another mental blow. We never gave up, though."

...the personnel situation one day of the game: "Christian Conteh is ill and couldn't train. Mats Møller Dæhli and Dimitrios Diamantakos took a bang on the knee during the game and only took part in the stabilisation exercises as a result."

...the serious injury to Christopher Avevor: "It's a massive setback. Christopher is a very valuable player on account of his attributes as a person. With his robustness and defensive capabilities, he's a key building block who had only just come back from a lengthy injury layoff."

...on the late loss of Finn Ole Becker: "We only found out in the afternoon before the game that Finn Ole wouldn't be available against Fürth due to a calf muscle problem. We'll have to wait and see now whether it's a strain or a tear or simply overuse from the game at Bielefeld, where he did a lot of running."

...Henk Veerman: "I had a long conversation with Henk and his Dutch therapist just recently. The aim now is to make optimum progress in the areas of training management, loading and intensity in the next four to six weeks. If Henk comes through this phase OK, the next phase will follow with training games at one hundred percent and maybe some initial playing time in friendlies or with the Under-23s. We have to ease him back to match intensity. It's a long process, physically as well as mentally."

...the Millerntor atmosphere: "Some of the young players were making their first appearance at their own ground in front of almost 30,000 people and they fought their way into it as the game wore on. If we'd scored early in the second half, I think the fans could have pushed us on to victory. You just need a bit of luck to get that goal."

...the forthcoming cup game: "The Lübeck game is an opportunity for us to channel our feelings in a positive direction. We haven't received our reward for the work we've put in recently, so I think the cup game is a good chance for us to gain some confidence and assurance if we go through to the next round."

Photo: Witters


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