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The Boys in Brown complete a busy week with a Saturday evening outing at Arminia Bielefeld (20.30 CET). Head coach Timo Schultz looked ahead to the game at the customary pre-match news conference on Friday morning.

Timo Schultz on…

...the squad news: “Relatively little has changed compared with our last game. Luca Zander and Carlo Boukhalfa have partly resumed training and are doing running work, but I can’t say yet whether it will be enough for them to feature in the squad on Saturday. Manolis Saliakas is available again after being suspended in the cup. The status for everyone else is unchanged. It’s not looking good for David Nemeth and I’m assuming he won’t play again this year. The shoulder injury to Jakov Medić is worse than we hoped, and it looks as if he’ll need an operation. The doctors are still deliberating whether that should happen straightaway or maybe at the end of the season, but a decision will be made soon. That means he’s sidelined at the moment and we’ll determine exactly how things look in the next few weeks.”

...opponents Arminia Bielefeld: “It’s difficult to assess from afar why things are going the way they are for a team and it’s not for me to make a judgement. I think you have to deal with a certain upheaval when you come out of a relegation season. The way you start the season is extremely important then and you have to turn the mood around, of course. Arminia haven’t quite managed to do that and are having problems at the moment, as you can see from the table, but they played really well at Hannover and didn’t get their reward. They do have quality, though, and it’s down to us to stop them exploiting it. We’re preparing for a Bielefeld side who’ll be extremely motivated to make amends for the defeat at Stuttgart and will possibly feature one or two changes, perhaps even to the system. The Stuttgart game hasn’t made our preparations any easier.”

...potential changes to his system: “We may well revert to a back four. The lads are more than capable of playing a flat 4-4-2 as well as in a diamond. We’ll obviously consider it, but the back three also worked well. It’s always a bit of a tactical game, of course, where you look at what spells of possession we’ll have and what the opposition will offer us. We’re in the fortunate position of being able to play two or three systems and assess which players are fresh and what the opposition are going to do.”

...talk of “journeymen opponents”: “We’re looking forward to another highlight first of all. Anything else is irrelevant. I’m not one for rating a team based on where they are in the table. Bielefeld are a good team with good substance. They aren’t where they should be, which makes them slightly more difficult to predict, but we aim to win games regardless of whether we’re at home or away. And of course I’d prefer to put an end to the tiresome discussion about our away form. We’re preparing for the game accordingly and will approach it that way, too. I’m sure we have a legitimate chance of taking all three points if we put in a good performance there.”


Photos: Witters