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The second part of the season kicks off at Greuther Fürth on Tuesday evening. At the pre-match news conference, head coach Jos Luhukay took questions from journalists and spoke about…

…the winter preparations: "We've done some good work over the last three weeks. We expected the conditions to be different in Spain but we handled it very positively. First of all, it's very positive that all the players who resumed training on 4 January are fit and well ahead of the restart. That's remarkable. We were able to train with the whole squad for three weeks, apart from the players who were already injured."

…the goals for the second part of the season: "We haven't spoken about league placings, but we do want to make our way up the table so we don't have to keep looking over our shoulders. The players have shown what they're capable of with some very good attacking and aggressive football, especially in the last two games before the winter break. We're all set for Tuesday evening and want to claim our first away win of the season there."

…the closing transfer window: "I have total confidence in our squad, and that goes for our ability to absorb the departure of Mats Møller Dæhli as well. If there were another player out there who could help us before 31 January, it would be an attacking player, but I've been totally focused on my own team and haven't held any talks so far."

…the positive mood in the squad: "It always depends a bit on the results in my view. The way the players have put everything into practice recently has been brilliant, but football is performance-driven and decisions will be taken on Tuesday regarding who plays and who's in the squad. That's when you see how good a team really is."

…Svend Brodersen: "I won't change anything in goal and so we'll go to Fürth  with Robin Himmelmann and Korbinian Müller. Svend is back but will play increasingly for the Under-23s. He had perhaps two games in the league in 2019, which is why not a lot is changing for him. As far as a possible call-up for the Olympics is concerned, it'll do him good to put himself in contention by getting match practice with the Under-23s. It would be a super experience for him."

…the preparations for Greuther Fürth: "We've been focusing more on ourselves and have done some good work in the last three weeks on the things that have been good or not so good in attack and defence. Only then do we look at the opposition. I always say we are what's important. We do analyse our opponents, of course; we know what quality they have and it's up to us now to neutralise them as much as we can."

…the away phobia: "We've had a lot of good away games but failed to get our reward. I hope that will improve in the second part of the season. If it does, we can improve our position."

…the opposition strengths: "They're a very good, balanced side with a good mix of young and experienced players. They always carry a threat and have the ability to switch from defence to attack very quickly. Fürth won't be a walk in the park for us – on the contrary. They can play good football and beat any team in the league, especially at home. We'll see two teams going for the win. It could be a good game to watch."


Photos: Witters