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LUHUKAY: "WE'RE UP AGAINST A DECENT SIDE WHO WE WON'T BE UNDERESTIMATING"

After the only-goal win over Nürnberg last time out, the Boys in Brown go to Darmstadt on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run (kick-off: 13:00 CET). At the virtual pre.match news conference, head coach Jos Luhukay spoke about...

...the week in training: "It's been very positive because we haven't had any injuries. Christopher Avevor has resumed full training. Christopher Buchtmann, Kevin Lankford, Christian Conteh and Philipp Ziereis are the only players ruled out."

…his assessment of the Nürnberg game: "We did a video analysis as usual and spoke to the players individually. The way we played was exemplary, not just when we had to defend the one-goal lead."

…the difference between home and away games: "I don't think there is a difference at the moment. The ground is empty and there's no atmosphere. The task for both teams is to focus on the game."

…the organisation required for away games at the moment: "They take a lot of organising, our team manager is busy with it every day. As a precautionary measure, we've booked a charter flight to ensure we're on our own with the team. We'll fly back like that as well."

…Dimitrios Diamantakos: ""It's not a good feeling for anyone when a player is subbed off before half-time. Emotions are part of the game, within reason. We put it behind us at the start of the week and now we're focusing on how we can win together at Darmstadt. It's legitimate for a player to seek a new challenge elsewhere but it has no effect on the starting lineup. It's about showing desire in training and on the pitch. We'll need all the players in the squad until the final day."

…Jan-Philipp Kalla: "The situation is that we have other players in his position sitting on the bench. In Sebastian Ohlsson and Luca Zander we have two players who are difficult to separate because they've both done really well. Jan-Philipp is third choice there at the moment and that's been discussed with him. That doesn't mean things can't change over the remaining games, however."

…Christian Viet and the younger players: "Christian is definitely a candidate for an appearance. He was training with us before the coronavirus phase and took part in the group training, where he made a good impression. Our five young players, who for me are Marvin Senger, Finn Ole Becker, Maximilian Franzke, Mert Kuyucu and Christian Viet, are all options for the first team or a place on the bench. I'm taking the lads very seriously, they aren't simply there to make up the numbers in training. It's very positive that we've been able to bring players through who weren't really on anybody's radar."

…the normality of preparing for the opposition: "We'll have a look at footage from last week's game and also from the time before the coronavirus struck. Darmstadt had been slightly more attack-minded in the second half of the season and were on a good run."

…improved chances of winning away without a crowd: "We want to collect more points away frome home, of course. We've had a good spell recently and want to build on that. The results have given us confidence and belief. We'd rarely been without our chances before then, we just didn't pick up enough points. We could have achieved much more."

…the points needed to avoid the drop: "I'm not occupying myself with that, to be honest. I haven't given any thought to relegation or staying up because I have faith in my team. The players have shown the necessary character and mentality when they've had to."

…the busy schedule ahead: "It's going to be exciting for all 36 clubs and coaches. No one knows how the players will cope with the workload. We'll have to see which players can play three games a week and which players we'll have to manage without."

…SV Darmstadt 98: "Darmstadt are a physical side who pose a threat from set pieces. I hold coach Dimitrios Grammozis in high regard and wish him a positive send-off from Darmstadt and all the best for the future. We're up against a decent side and we won't be underestimating them."

 

Photos: Witters

 

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