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The disappointment was tangible in the mixed zone and at the post-match press conference after the 3-1 defeat at Schalke on Friday evening.

Head coach Fabian Hürzeler: "Schalke surprised us today. We didn't expect them to press us man to man. We took a while to get going but then had the chance to take the lead through Connor Metcalfe. Schalke were more tenacious after the injury to Eric Smith. They played with more intensity, which is how you have to play in the second division, but we didn't do that today. We went out with intent in the second half but lacked the ultimate conviction, which sums up the entire game. Schalke played simple football and we didn't defend well against it. All in all, we didn't deserve to take anything here today."

Marcel Hartel: "Schalke hardly let us into the game. They pressed very high but left Niko alone, which forced us to play long balls. They hit a lot of long passes themselves and went for the second balls, which they won. All in all it was a day to forget. They were better than us in every area. They won the individual duels and scored three goals. We have to work on that and analyse why we conceded three again. If you look at how solid we've been at the back this season, then it doesn't go together. Our aim is to keep a clean sheet and we have to do that much better in our next game."

Hauke Wahl: "We went all-in at the end and got caught on the break for the third goal. The other two goals were too easy. I'll take the blame for them. Six goals in two games is way too many. Eric is one of our most important players and a focal point of our build-up play, which was an issue for us today, but compliments to Adam, who was thrown straight on and was up to speed right away. We didn't win the personal duels today, especially in the first half. We hardly won the second balls either. We've always managed to play ugly football when needed but we didn't today. We simply weren't good enough because we knew we were up against tough opposition in Schalke."

Adam Dźwigała: "We didn't find any good solutions in our play today. Schalke set their stall out well and their key was winning the individual duels. I tried to give it everything I had and worked hard in training to get another opportunity to play. Unfortunately, we lost today."

Karel Geraerts (Schalke head coach): "We knew we were up against a good team. I'm a fan of Fabian's style of play. It was an important win for us today. We had to press high and we did that. My players went full at it and that was important because St. Pauli can play their way out quickly and create a threat. We showed a lot of heart today and got our reward. I'm very proud of my team. It was a tough week, so today's win was all the more important for us."


Photos: FC St. Pauli