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LUHUKAY: "YOU CAN'T PERFECT THINGS IN THREE DAYS"

One day after Jos Luhukay's first game in charge against Arminia Bielefeld, our new head coach met the press for the first time following a league game on Monday morning. Among other things, the 55-year-old spoke about...

...the 1-1 draw against Arminia

"We began with a high pressing system and defended with six players high up the field to put our opponents under pressure, but Bielefeld coped with it very well in the first half, partly because their goalkeeper joined in the play very well. On a number of occasions when we lost possession, we left too much space for them, which they capitalised on. In the second half we kept a very good shape and found strong stability. Bielefeld didn't create a chance until time added on, which shows how focused and purposeful we were in the second half. The players showed the absolute will and determination to win the game."

...his debut in the hot seat

"I was cool on the outside and didn't let anything show, but on the inside I was really looking forward to the game. My first game in charge of Borussia Mönchengladbach was also against Arminia Bielefeld. I think we won 3-1. I had that at the back of my mind and thought I'd experience the same with St. Pauli as well. Unfortunately, we didn't get the second or third goal yesterday."

...the promotion ambitions

"We aim to finish the remaining games as well as we can and take everything that's on offer. There are five games left and we want to approach them professionally and with intensity. If that's enough for third place, we'll be over the moon. If it doesn't happen, I see these games as a trial run for next season."

...the attacking pressing style

"Basically, we want to put the opposition under pressure high up the pitch and force them into mistakes. When we're in possession, however, we want to get more composure in our game. Against Bielefeld we wanted too much, too quickly and we rushed things on occasions. We took more risks and if Bielefeld had scored a second goal, we probably wouldn't have ended up with a point. Nevertheless, we want to play an attacking pressing game and go forward with more urgency. There's an interplay between good defensive and good attacking work but it takes time, you can't perfect things in three days. It all depends how quickly the players take it on board and embrace it. They aren't machines I can switch on and off. A pre-season normally lasts six weeks and you still need more time after that until you're playing the kind of football you're aiming for."

...the significance of the next few weeks for the new season

"For me the next few weeks are like a trial run to get an idea of the kind of quality I can work with in the future. That goes for the players, the coaching team, the backroom staff and the medical department. I can get to know them all better and I hope we're well equipped enough to make the right decisions in terms of the players we bring in and let go for next season. In the next few weeks we'll work as hard as we can to finish the season as well as possible and have a powerful team for next season."

...his first few days as head coach

"I was positively surprised – especially as far as the work with all the team around me is concerned. Everyone is very committed here and eager to do as well as we can in the last few matches. I just sense it. In the end, the most important thing is that the players showed us and everyone in the ground in the second half that they want that, too. As a team, we have to prepare as well as possible to ensure the players lead by example every day both on and off the pitch. I'm very glad to be here and have the chance to do my bit with my colleagues and the people who work for the club. I hope to have a lot of fun and positive experiences here in future."

 

Photos: Witters

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