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Across-the-board improvement required against leaders Paderborn

FC St. Pauli entertain SC Paderborn at the Millerntor on Saturday (13.00 CET) on the back of a disappointing showing and a deserved 2-0 reverse at Hansa Rostock. The Boys in Brown will need to show a reaction against the league leaders, who hammered Kiel 7-2 last time out, if they are to take all three points.

Though the Schultz XI covered more distance than any other team last weekend (119 kilometres), all that hard running was to no avail against a more combative and effective Rostock team. The hosts created chances and scored both times far too easily, while our only shot on target from a total of 13 attempts came from Lukas Daschner eleven seconds before the end of a four-minute period of stoppage time, which is perhaps indicative of what was a frustrating display. "Obviously it was not a good day for us, a poor performance. We're all angry and disappointed and that's understandable when you perform like that in such an important game," said captain Jackson Irvine during the week.

"As far as our grip, body language and awareness in defending our goal are concerned, it simply wasn’t good enough in the first half," said head coach Timo Schultz straight after the game before announcing an in-depth analysis that would be conducted with the players rather than top down and which was completed over the last few days. Looking back at the week in training, Schultz said: "The team have shown a reaction. They've been really up for it and shown the determination and bite we're looking for. We have to get that on the pitch on Saturday. That's the bottom line."

Doom and gloom in one camp, unbridled joy in the other. Kiel went into last week's encounter the only team still unbeaten but Paderborn demolished them 7-2, racing to a 5-1 lead with just 38 minutes gone. That made it four wins out of five this season, as Lukas Kwasniok's side defended their place at the summit in barnstorming fashion. The East Westphalians have already scored 18 times, more than any other team. And while many a first and second division side have struggled against the "minnows" in the DFB Cup, Paderborn demonstrated their scoring prowess in that competition as well, breezing into the second round with a 10-0 win at fifth-tier outfit Einheit Wernigerode.

No question about it, it will be an extremely difficult assignment against Paderborn, who have played some sparkling football so far, starting with a 5-0 drubbing of Karlsruhe on the opening day. A vast improvement will be needed against the league's in-form team, then. Irvine: "On our own ground I'm sure we'll show we can play better - especially against a team like that." The Boys in Brown, who haven't won on the road in six months but are formidable at home, are aiming to show their Millerntor face again on Saturday and chalk up their third home win in succession with the backing of the fans. Yet for that to happen, they will need a significant improvement in performance.


Photos: Witters

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