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Head coach Jos Luhukay took plenty of time out to talk about his team's winter preparations on Thursday. Specifically, he spoke about…

…the training camp group: "As things stand, we'll go to Spain with 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers. We don't have much time to prepare, so a large group isn't optimal for working on substance. We need a smaller group to be able to prepare in a targeted manner. Jakub Bednarczyk, Ersin Zehir, Marc Hornschuh and Yiyoung Park won't travel. It wasn't an easy decision to make. The lads wanted to stake a claim at training camp, but it didn't come as a total surprise for them. We were fair and open with them. We won't put any obstacles in their way if they see better options for themselves at other clubs."

…the training camp goals: "We'll focus mainly on substance. We want to become more flexible in our formations and hone our playing philosophy. It's about improving the way we attack and defend. That also includes the way we switch the play. I hope we have an excellent week in substance terms. I also hope to gain some good insights from the warm-up matches against Wehen Wiesbaden and Arminia Bielefeld. The games will last 4 x 30 minutes each to allow a particular team to play 2 x 30 minutes. We'll field a completely different team in the second half.“

…the physical shape of the players: "The lads have done their homework. You only lose a bit of fitness in the winter break, unlike in summer. The lads are performing very positively at the moment and have made a good impression in the sessions so far. We'll only have to do a bit of stamina work without the ball."

 …the squad: "I have full confidence in the players who are here. The way they gel and interact with each other leaves me in no doubt about the squad. The last two games of the year showed the quality and the character of this team. We have depth and are well placed."

…possible changes to the squad: "We won't let any of the first team go, and that includes Henk Veerman. In the other direction, we're keeping our eyes open and will discuss situations as they arise. We're keeping an eye out in attack. For one thing because Mats has gone, for another because we don't know when Christian Conteh will be available again. We have to get on top of our injury problems. If we do that, I'm convinced we'll have a good second half of the season."

…Christopher Avevor: "Christopher is already running regularly as part of his rehab but it's hard to say when he'll be back on the pitch. With an injury llke that there can be setbacks you can't plan for, so we won't be setting any deadlines because we don't want to put Jackson under any pressure with a timetable."

…the resumption at Fürth: The wins over Wiesbaden and Bielefeld were important. We can't set any new targets, though, we have to take each game as it comes. What's positive is that the players aren't paying much attention to the table. Against Fürth, we have to go out with conviction and confidence in our own game. If that's us, the performances will come."


Photo: Witters


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