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LUHUKAY: "OPPORTUNITY TO DO BETTER"

Sunday takes the Boys in Brown to FC Heidenheim (kick-off: 1330 CET) hoping to improve on a record that has seen them lose all their previous fixtures at the Voith Arena. Nevertheless, Jos Luhukay is looking forward to what he called an "attractive" proposition. At Friday's pre-match news conference, the St. Pauli boss spoke about...

...his expectations for Sunday's game: "This has always been a very tough fixture for St. Pauli in recent years. I had my second game in charge of the club there, but I don't look back on it with much fondness because we found ourselves 3-0 down at half-time. Heidenheim are a very stable side with lots of continuity both as far as my fellow coach is concerned and the structure of the team. They've established themselves in the second division over several years and repeatedly achieved good final placings in the table. You have to take them very seriously, especially at home, where they're very strong, with lots of movement in attack and players carrying a goal threat, not to mention their set pieces. They'll push us to the limit. If we're going to take anything there, we'll need to be solid at the back and sharp up front. We can do better in this game than we did against Darmstadt recently.

...the injury situation: "Things are looking positive as far as Ryo Miyaichi is concerned. He's back in full training and has been working very hard with our performance coaches over the last few days. Going by what I saw today, he could be an option for Sunday. James Lawrence is definitely ruled out, however. We hope he'll be an option against Frankfurt or at the latest against Karlsruhe. Christian Conteh has also worked very hard in the last few days and resumed full training today. He might be in the squad if there's no reaction, but he won't start. Leo Østigård had a family bereavement but will hook up with the squad tomorrow and is ready to play."

...the significance of the game: "It has the potential to be an exciting game for both sides. A win puts you closer to the leading group, but a defeat could see you plummet down the table, so in this sense it could be crucial. It's an attractive proposition for us because it gives us a chance to put the past behind us and move on. It's another opportunity to do better than we have been doing at Heidenheim."

...his previous away record as St. Pauli coach: "It's time we stopped simply playing well and creating chances. It's also about being effective and getting our reward for the work we're putting in. We've failed to get our proper reward this season, especially away from home. We could have taken a lot more points than we have done, so I hope we can turn it round and come away with all three on Sunday."

...'bogey team' FC Heidenheim: "That's just a statistic. It's a new game with new opportunities. I know about the past, but the past can also be reeled in and turned in a good direction. We have to try to take this opportunity on Sunday. To a certain extent it's down to us and the way we work both on and off the ball. You can't change the past, but on Sunday we can turn the situation round. We have to believe and try to give it our best shot."

...possible changes in view of the Heidenheim threat from set plays: "We're obviously thinking about that but it's also important not to give away any unnecessary free-kicks near the box or any corners. Because of our aerial inferiority we need to be robust and composed in the challenge and we've discussed that with the team. We've managed relatively well with that policy so far."

...the players who'll appear for the Under-23s: "Henk Veerman and Philipp Ziereis are edging towards 90 minutes with the Under-23a on Saturday. We hope they'll come through OK after playing for 70 minutes last Sunday. Jakub Bednarczyk, Ersin Zehir and Leon Schmidt will also be involved."

 

Photo: Witters

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