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Patience and defensive stability the key to three points against Sandhausen

SV Sandhausen are the visitors to Millerntor Stadium on Sunday (13.30) CET. The Boys in Brown are targeting their third win in four home games, while Sandhausen will be out to open their away account having failed to pick up a point on their travels thus far. With the visitors typically solid at the back and quick in transition, the Schultz XI will need plenty of patience up front and added stability in defence.

Last weekend's outing to Greuther Fürth was the third game in a row without a victory for the Boys in Brown, though the performance was good, and the team showed good morale after falling behind. In a repeat of the previous week against league leaders SC Paderborn, a late strike secured the Schultz XI their third 2-2 draw this season. The task now is to convert the one point into three at home against Sandhausen.

Patience could be the name of the game against the defensively solid visitors, as head coach Timo Schultz speculated in the run-up. "It's going to be a tough game in which we'll have more of the ball and will probably have to keep battling against their resistance in order to break through a packed backline," he said before urging caution in view of danger Sandhausen pose on the break: "They're always a threat in transition and from set plays."

His team have struggled to deal with opposition counterattacks on losing possession so far, as evidenced by the five goals conceded on the break from an overall total of 12 in seven games. The Boys in Brown will therefore need to be alert to the danger from minute one. In attack, it will be important to show the aforementioned patience as they strive to unlock the compact opposition rearguard with their customary creativity and strong passing game.

Sandhausen, who after three defeats in a row secured a scoreless draw at home to Kaiserslautern last week, will not want to return home with nothing to show for their efforts, something they have failed to achieve on their three away trips this season, which have seen them lose 2-1 at Darmstadt, 3-2 at Karlsruhe, and 1-0 at Kiel. "We've been so close to getting a result away from home," said Alois Schwartz. “There’s only been one goal in it every time.” The Sandhausen coach is now hoping his team can take their home form and replicate it on the road. Whatever the outcome, Schwartz is looking forward to the Millerntor: "Playing there is always enjoyable simply because of the atmosphere, but you have to prepare well if you want to hold your own there. St. Pauli haven't lost at home so far and will go flat out as usual on their own turf."

Both teams know what to expect, then. The Boys in Brown, who will travel to the ground by electric bus for a game that has been declared a car-free matchday by the club and mobility provider hvv switch, are eager to take the next step on the pitch, especially in terms of their defensive cover, and record their third home win in four attempts.


Photos: Witters