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LUHUKAY: "IT'LL BE TOUGH, BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE"

The games are coming thick and fast in Bundesliga 2 at the moment, with the Boys in Brown back in action on Wednesday already when they entertain FC Heidenheim at the Millerntor (18.30 CET). At the pre-match news conference, head coach Jos Luhukay spoke about...

…the Darmstadt defeat: "We've obviously analysed the game. It's always easy to say after the event that our plan didn't come off. We began the week by setting out how we can move forward again together. After five games unbeaten it was a painful defeat, above all because of the way we lost and because it's the third or fourth time that we failed to make the leap to sixth or seventh place. We could have put some distance between ourselves and the teams below us and it's a shame we couldn't do that."

…the squad news: "Leo received his fifth yellow card and so we need to find a replacement. Otherwise, everyone's available to play apart from the four players who were already sidelined. Philipp Ziereis will have an examination today because he's still feeling some pain in his knee. We may know more today or at the latest tomorrow."

…the meagre points haul in the first part of the season against the next six opponents: "That's no longer relevant. If we play the way we did in the second half against Nürnberg or before the lockdown, there's no need to think about it. We have 90 minutes' time tomorrow to work on our own strengths and take plenty from the game."

…Henk Veerman: "I sat with him for half an hour yesterday. We talk a lot. He shouldn't doubt himself after the last two games and needs to keep working. Henk will get another chance tomorrow and we'll see whether he starts or comes on during the game. He gave us so much pleasure before the lockdown and will do so again."

…the heavy workload: "We didn't rotate against Darmstadt. It still won't be a problem tomorrow, but after the game we only have two days to prepare before going to Karlsruhe. We have to be back to 100 percent on the third day. That necessitates a certain workload management in training and we'll have to talk about that on Thursday morning."

…FC Heidenheim: "I have a lot of respect for this club, the team and my fellow coach. I think it's great that they're still challenging for promotion at this stage of the season. We're up against a team who are incredibly motivated and will do their utmost to stay in touch at the top, but it's just as important for us to get a result, too. It's going to be tough, but not impossible. We've shown before that we can hold our own and win against the best teams in the league."

…his counterpart Frank Schmidt: "I don't know how he works personally but I've already said in the run-up that I have a lot of respect for him. For a coach to remain at the helm for so long says a lot, not only for him but also for the club. That's stability and continuity that radiates calmness among the team. They've always done well in recent years. I can only take my hat off to them."

…the opposition strengths:  "Niklas Dorsch is a fantastic holding midfielder who's very important for their build-up play but can also clear up defensively. He's incredibly important for this team but is not the only one who makes a difference. Kleindienst leads the way in terms of goals and assists and Schnatterer is a set-piece specialist. This team has good balance."

 

Photos: Witters

 

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