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Momentum high ahead of Osnabrück visit

The Boys in Brown are sure to walk out to a triumphant reception at the Millerntor on Sunday after victory over the neighbours last time out. In completing the derby double, they did, after all, grant what was probably the biggest wish for the season of everyone associated with the club. The euphoria and confidence boost will hopefully carry Jos Luhukay's side to more points against VfL Osnabrück, thus widening the gap to the relegation places.

While the players were still singing and dancing in the dressing room, and the fans were launching into the celebrations rather than bringing them to a close, Jos Luhukay was already turning his attention to the next game at the press conference after the derby. "We have to focus on our next game against Osnabrück now and I hope we'll be able to find a repeat of today's performance," the head coach said, concluding his statement at Volksparkstadion.

Ultimately, the unalterable fact is that even the sweetest derby win only earns you three points. And with some of our nearest rivals also getting results last weekend, the gap to the drop zone and the relegation play-off place means it is not exactly the time to take a deep breath and relax. The task, then, is to build on last week's success. The omens could be worse, it has to be said: the away curse has been banished, the mood in the squad and the fan base is understandably very good, and the injury list is getting shorter with every week.

On top of that, Osnabrück come to the Millerntor without a win in six. After a superb first half of the season, which Daniel Thioune's ended in fifth place on 26 points, the promoted side have started to stutter slightly. The defence, in particular, is not quite as solid as it was in the first 17 games, when the Violets recorded seven clean sheets. Last weekend's scoreless draw against Erzgebirge Aue was goalkeeper Philipp Kühn's first shutout since round 17.

Irrespective of the stats, however, the Boys in Brown would do well to take the visitors seriously, of course. Captain Daniel Buballa therefore takes a similar view to his gaffer: "The derby was an emotional game for all of us. We finally got the long-awaited away win, which was an enormous relief. We now want to take this energy and euphoria into the home game against Osnabrück, when both teams will be starting from scratch again. Osnabrück will give us a big test but obviously we intend to come through it."

So bring it on. The ballast has been jettisoned, confidence is high, and the support of the home crowd is a given! Come on you Boys in Brown!


Photos: Witters