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With the Boys in Brown heading off into the two-week winter break, director of sport Andreas Bornemann and head coach Timo Schultz took time out to talk to the media about the season so far.

Bornemann und Schultz on…

 …the season so far:

Timo Schultz: "If you look at the points total, it's gone very well, but what's more important for me as a coach is seeing how the lads work in training every day, how they love coming to the training ground and how long they stay, the intensity with which they train, how they interact with each other and keep encouraging and pushing each other. Watching that is what gives me the most pleasure. Aa a coach, I'm highly satisfied with the first half of the season, although the way we play is always more important for me than the result. That both are very good in the main is obviously the optimum case."

…potential ups and downs:

Andreas Bornemann: "The whole year has been one long up for me. I've enjoyed the lot of it even though there were a few minor setbacks along the way. That's part of the game. What we've achieved together is sensational. Everyone at this club has had a major hand in it. That's clearly the main aspect for me."

Timo Schultz: "The defeat at Hannover was one of the most important games for us. We were all very disappointed afterwards because we didn't perform, but we realised that we were close to winning the game even though we hadn't played that well. After the game we sat down together and clarified a few things. Looking back it was a very valuable defeat. Even though we lost, we drew a lot of strength from it."

…the promotion race and the favourites tag:

Andreas Bornemann: "We've had a good first half of the season in which we've picked up points and top the table, but that's no guarantee of anything. After finishing last season so strongly, many people had us among the candidates for a good campaign this term, but we aren't favourites to go up. It wouldn't be right to say that regardless of where we are in the table. The team know how good they are and what they're capable of, but they also know that they have to invest an incredible amount in training during the week and on the pitch. We've put ourselves in a good position for the second half of the season through good and solid work. Nothing more, nothing less."

…a new contract for Timo Schultz:

Andreas Bornemann: "We might have been a bit further had it not been for Covid. There are just a few minor details to sort out. More important than the length of the contract and the monetary aspect is the fact that both sides are of the opinion that we're going in the right direction. We know what we have in Timo, and he knows what he has in FC St. Pauli. We'll sort out the rest, I'm sure of that."

…potential changes to the squad:

Andreas Bornemann: "We look at the squad all the time, but we have so many options that we don't necessarily have to do any business. Timo and I will have time in the next few days to go over everything again and take a sober look at things detached from all the euphoria from an excellent season so far. We have quite a lot of contracts due to expire and the priority is for Timo to provide clarity in this respect. Based on that, we'll look at continuing to develop the squad and pointing the way forward by extending the odd contract or two."

…Timo Schultz: "Andreas and I are in constant contact and are planning things. It's a recurring event every winter. We'll deal with it the way we've done it in the last few years, by communicating openly and transparently, especially with the players." 

…Finn Ole Becker and his expiring contract:

Andreas Bornemann: "It's not all that long ago that we'd made relatively good progress with Finn Ole as far as a mutual understanding of how we wish to work together in future was concerned. That's ground to a halt because of a last-minute change of agent at that meant we were no longer able to find a reasonable starting point. We'd made Finn Ole what we considered to be a very good offer that then no longer appeared good enough under the new arrangement. We have to come to terms with the thought that Finn Ole can sign a contract somewhere in summer and maybe even this winter. Maybe we'll have another conversation or another go at it during the short winter break, maybe we won't."


Photos: Witters