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Schultz: "We always aim to be dominant and win the game"

SV Darmstadt 98 are the visitors to the Millerntor for the penultimate home game of the year on Saturday evening (20.30 CET). In the run-up to the clash against the league leaders, head coach Timo Schultz spoke about...

...the personnel situation: "It's relatively unchanged. We know Jakov Medić and David Nemeth are ruled out for the rest of the year. Carlo Boukhalfa and Luca Zander have trained in full, so I expect them to be available again this weekend, while Niklas Jessen and Franz Roggow are easing their way back."

...the past three-match week: "It was certainly an eventful week for us. It began with the derby win and was followed by a really good performance against Freiburg that unfortunately went unrewarded. And then the game at Bielefeld, which was OK for 45 to 60 minutes but unfortunately went against us in the end. We were all very disappointed, especially on the way back, when not a lot was said on the bus. We went over the game on Monday and drew out the positives and negatives. After that, we flipped the switch and placed the focus fully on Darmstadt. I don't think the Bielefeld game is on our minds anymore."

...our decent record against the top teams: "We prepare for every game the same way. We always aim to be dominant and win the game, whether we're playing the league leaders, a top side or a team from the bottom. If can bring bring our strengths to the pitch and prevent Darmstadt from unleashing theirs, we'll have a realistic chance of winning the game."

...opponents Darmstadt 98: "They're a physically strong side who are resolute going forward and rightly in first place. They lean on their strengths, which is a quality of theirs. They had an impressive campaign last season but like us couldn't see it through. We know we have a job ahead of us and will have to go to the limit again. Nevertheless, I think we've shown in recent weeks that we're happy to take these jobs on and are capable of doing them successfully, especially here at the Millerntor."

...Darmstadt's long-ball football: "In Phillip Tietz, they have a really good target player up top who can hold balls up or flick them on. They also have Braydon Manu, who's extremely quick and very mobile, so operating with long balls is certainly an effective way of doing things. And they have very good players in the middle for the second balls who understand the game and have lots of experience."

...dealing with Darmstadt's aerial threat: "We have to play football against them and keep them busy. If we operate with lots of high and wide balls, we won't have much chance of winning the first ball, though you can get in position for the second. We want to play bold football and instead of hitting everything high and wide to the penalty spot will target other areas that make more sense for us."

Photos: Witters