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LUHUKAY: "PLAYERS HAVE KEPT THEIR FOCUS AND GOT THE MOST OUT OF IT"

At the end of training camp, Jos Luhukay looked back at the time on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. In this interview, the 56-year-old speaks about…

…the takeaways from the Valencia training camp: "We're two weeks into our preparations now and have made really good progress. We were able to implement the programme we had in mind."

…the warm-up games against Wehen Wiesbaden (5-2) and Arminia Bielefeld (3-4): "I think we made progress in both games. We wanted to improve our attacking and defensive work. When you score eight goals in two warm-up matches, you're on the right track. We're very satisfied with the week's training. The players kept their focus and got the most out of it."

…players who surprised him: "You can develop and improve every day. That goes for everyone. We're doing OK in that respect. I held out one example to the players. In footballing terms, it hasn't gone as well for Rico Benatelli as he thought it would following his move to St. Pauli from Dresden. When you miss pre-season in summer like he did, it's difficult to catch up. But he never gave up and always believed in himself. He's a potential candidate for a place in the first team. Otherwise, there were no players from whom I would have expected more."

…the mood in the camp: "The harmony can look different when decisions are taken or the results don't come. What matters is that we're there for each other and players assume responsibility themselves."

…Christian Conteh: "It's good for both sides that the issue has been settled. Mainly for Christian, we hope he'll be fit and back training again soon."

…the open transfer window: "I told the players we hadn't made any new signings to date because we had confidence in them. We have the quality and are considering making one signing at the most. Unless we get some injuries. If we do add another player, it'll be an attacking player because we've lost one in Mats and Christian is still sidelined."

…the absence of injury woes: "I think you just need that bit of luck sometimes. And the same goes for injuries. We've made a few changes that have met with a good response. The trend now is that we don't have a single player sidelined. I hope it stays that way. We need to be totally focused on football."

…his view of the club: "When you look at St. Pauli from a distance, you don't see deep inside the club. I've now got to know the club and gradually come to understand what it stands for. On the one hand, I think it's impressive the way the club is set up. St. Pauli has kept progressing financially, but hasn't maintained that level on the pitch."

 

Photo: Witters

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