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LUHUKAY: "CUP CHALLENGE A WELCOME CHANGE MENTALLY"

FC St. Pauli take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the second of three games in seven days in front of a packed house at the Millerntor on Wednesday evening (2045 CET). At the news conference on the eve of the game, head coach Jos Luhukay talked about...

...tomorrow's opposition: "Eintracht have made enormous progress in the last few years. They've built a good structure at the club and a good philosophy that has them playing football that's fun to watch. Frankfurt have their own style of play and employ the same formation almost every time. Despite losing some key players, they've assembled another strong squad that has gelled well. They're also playing a decent role in Europe, not just in the Bundesliga."

...his approach to the game: "We have to make up for the difference in quality with plenty of fight and passion to try to get through to the next round. We respect them. Ultimately, it'll be down to us harmonising and functioning as a team. We have a chance to lock horns with a fantastic side. It's a huge challenge and a welcome change for us mentally. We could hardly have a bigger incentive than this. If we work hard, we can get our reward and earn respect and recognition."

...the injury situation: "James Lawrence is definitely ruled out this week, his knee is still showing a reaction. He's a big loss for me, we'll have to see what the problem is. Svend Brodersen, Christopher Avevor, Aurel Loubongo, Yiyoung Park, Niklas Hoffmann and Luis Coordes remain sidelined and we'll probably be without Christopher Buchtmann for six weeks. Marc Hornschuh will also miss out. He's been experiencing problems with the intensity of training and has reduced his workload as a result. It's a great shame for him because he looked good in pre-season. Marc is working very hard to overcome it and doing his utmost to get back to one hundred per cent."

...Henk Veerman and Philipp Ziereis: "Henk Veerman and Philipp Ziereis are not quite fully fit after their long layoffs but did get 90 minutes for the Under-23s recently. I can't say yet whether they'll be in the squad to face Frankfurt."

...his personal DFB Cup highlight: "My biggest highlight was getting to the semi-finals with FC Augsburg. That was a fantastic season. We eventually went out at Bremen and unfortunately didn't get to the final, but the run that took us there was sensational. They're moments I really enjoyed and will never forget."

...recent performances: "We've just lost two games to a corner. We haven't had that bit of luck you need that's part of football, but sometimes you have to force it. These defeats bother me. We were well organised and solid at the back and yet still ended up losing due to two lapses of concentration. It's really hard to take and so we can't be happy with it."

...opposition tactics: "Recently our opponents have been playing with a deep line at the back, which is a new situation for us. We need to come up with some answers. We also need a different mental approach to games. Players such as Mats Møller Dæhli and Finn Ole Becker are being closed down more and that's a development we need to learn from if we're going to be successful against teams who sit back. Against Frankfurt it'll be different of course, because they won't base their game plan on us."

 

Photo: Witters

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