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NO PRESSURE FOR STÖVER

Director of sport Uwe Stöver is in demand at the moment. When will Thibaud Verlinden's loan deal be completed? Will there be any more signings in this transfer period? Questions the 50-year-old took time out to answer at training camp.

"We're on the final straight as far as getting it done is concerned," said Stöver on the impending loan of Stoke City's Thibaud Verlinden, who has been training with the Boys in Brown since the first day of training camp. "I'm very confident, there's just a few formalities left and we're sorting them out at the moment. Both sides have expressed their readiness in principle to do the deal. I've been relaxed since then, which you can be in a partnership. The dealings with the Stoke officials have been good."

With regard to potential new signings, Stöver said a decision had been reached on a clear strategy before Christmas. "We want to sign an attacking player but we don't have to. That player has to be of immediate use to us in the first team, i.e. he has to meet our needs on the pitch and make financial sense as well. We're on it and we're not feeling any pressure."

The main reason for Stöver's calmness in this transfer window are the players already on the club's books. "We have great faith in the current squad because we know and we see the potential we have in the team. By that I mean players who aren't back to their full level of performance yet because of injuries. Players who have had a dip in form recently, players who are on the fringes and now have a chance to stake a claim, and players from the Under-23s such as Jan-Marc Schneider who have already staked their claim with the coach."

Another reason for Stöver's positive frame of mind is the injury situation. "Mats Møller Dæhli has been able to resume training a little earlier than planned after his groin operation," he said. "Philipp Ziereis is also sending out encouraging signals at training camp."

"The Bundesliga returning to action earlier than usual on 12 January could also get the transfer market moving again," Stöver added. Whatever happens, the 50-year-old is ready to act accordingly – with poise and serenity.

Photos: Witters

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