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Luhukay: “We go into the game full of ambition and motivation"

Next up for the Boys in Brown after the 3-0 defeat at Greuther Fürth is a home game against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday (13:00 CET). Head coach Jos Luhukay took time out ahead of the visit of the third-placed Swabians to talk to the media about...

...the personnel situation: "Everyone’s available to play apart from Luca Zander. A decision will be taken this afternoon on whether he can play. He’s the only question-mark. Every player who was in the squad is an option, otherwise we wouldn’t let them play or put them on the bench. We’ll see tomorrow if anything changes."

...the lack of form on the day at Fürth: "Football is always a snapshot. Before the game we didn’t have the feeling we’d put in such a performance. You can never tell beforehand. The winter preparations went well, it all looked very positive. But you never know how the first game is going to go. We didn’t play well and yet still had a chance to get a result. Unfortunately we didn’t take our chances before the second Fürth goal.”

...Stuttgart’s new coach Pellegrino Matarazzo: "I don’t know him and don’t know much about him. I don’t have to, though, I have to know the necessary about his team. We’ve spent a lot of time on them in the last few days. It’s not the philosophy of my colleague that matters, it’s the quality of his team."

...the Stuttgart team: "The way they played in their last game was impressive. And I don’t just mean the first team we saw against Heidenheim on Wednesday night. The players who came on are capable of turning the game in a totally different direction. They aren’t where they are in the table for nothing. We’re up against one of the best three teams in the league. In Stuttgart we face a team with lots of quality, we have to be ready for that. We go into the game full of ambition and motivation and will need to hit a good day to get a result against them."

...the good results against the top teams: "I hope that’s the case again tomorrow. But that’s football, too. Maybe we’ll peak again and put in a top performance. It will need to be top tomorrow as well. It’ll be tough for us if we have the odd player who doesn’t reach his normal form. Stuttgart will push us to the limit. They don’t need much to score, as we saw in the reverse fixture. They have so much individual quality, we can’t give much away tomorrow because they know exactly how to take advantage."

...a back three or a back four: "That’s not important. What’s important is finding some stability so we can neutralise Stuttgart’s quality. They have so much quality in attack, it doesn’t matter whether you play with three, four, five or six players at the back. We need to win the tackles. It’s not about the system or the formation, it’s about being better than your opposite number in order to to secure an advantage."

...his game plan: "I’m only focusing on us. I have a lot of respect for the quality Stuttgart have, but I also believe in my team. I have to give my players a plan that hopefully will work. That’s all we’re thinking about – regardless of whether Stuttgart field the same team as on Wednesday or ten other players who are just as good. We need to have a good plan and hit a superb day. We did that occasionally in the first half of the season, as at Stuttgart, where unfortunately we conceded in the last minute.


Photos: Witters