LUHUKAY: "OUR OWN PERFORMANCE IS WHAT MATTERS"
Thursday, 13. February 2020, 17:19 Uhr
Jos Luhukay brought glad tidings to the press conference before Friday's home game against Dynamo Dresden (kick-off: 18:30 CET). Asked whether any players were carrying knocks after a week of training, his reply was brief and to the point: "everyone's fit". The only players still sidelined, then, are Christian Conteh and centre-backs Christopher Avevor and James Lawrence. The head coach also spoke about...
...opponents Dynamo Dresden: "They made some changes in winter and we expect four of their new signings to play tomorrow. Obviously, they brought a new coach in as well, so they'll probably operate differently than before as far as their tactics and system are concerned. We've had a look at them over the last few days and know a thing or two about Dynamo Dresden. It's our own performance that matters, though, and that's what we're focusing on in order to win the game tomorrow evening."
...the significance of the game: "In principle, I'm only interested in the table on the last day of the season. I don't think it's a final tomorrow, but we aren't closing our eyes to the current situation. The way we perform is much more important, and when I think back to our last three home games, that gives us enough confidence."
...the contrast between home and away games: "We have fantastic support at home for 90 minutes. Maybe that gives the players added motivation. But we also have fantastic fans who travel to away games in large numbers and get behind us. It's just that we've been better at showing good performances at home, even against the top teams. And we keep doing ourselves no favours away from home. Whether you leave the pitch victorious or not comes down to details."
...a possible return of Dimitrios Diamantakos: "The team stands above all else. Every player has a chance, if he shows will and desire. Everyone has that opportunity day in, day out. He's done that outstandingly well over the last three days, so he's back in the squad tomorrow and thus an alternative for the first team or the bench."
...Dresden coach Markus Kauczinski: "My colleague was here for a while, so you know his philosophy and how he likes to play. We need to have an answer if our opponents are defending well. We have to play with courage and conviction as a team. In terms of distance covered, it was our second-best performance of the season at Kiel on Monday, so it's not down to attitude or desire, it's down to details. We have to have the edge in these details tomorrow evening. It won't be an easy game and we all have to be clear about that. It's going to be an exciting game right to the end if we don't settle it before then."
...Henk Veerman and his penalty miss at Kiel: "I sat down with Henk for 20 to 30 minutes yesterday, but it was more about an analysis of his game. I find his directness and honesty good. He was inconsolable after the game and said straightaway it was his fault and he should have scored the penalty. That's strength of character. I told him he should feel free to take the next penalty as well. I'm not blaming him. We win and lose together."
...possible changes to the starting lineup: "I'm glad we've got almost a full squad at our disposal. The players are top fit. We'll see tomorrow what team we opt for. What matters is that we put in the performance that made us shine against Stuttgart."