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Schultz: "Our approach will always be to be pro-active on the ball"

After the sole international break in the first part of the season, the Boys in Brown entertain FC Heidenheim on Saturday evening (20.30 CET). Head coach Timo Schultz took time out in the run-up to field questions from the media at the pre-match news conference.

Timo Schultz on…

...the personnel situation: "The international players who’ve been away have all returned unscathed, which is very positive. They’ve had different stresses and strains. Jakov Medić was already back in training on Monday, while Jackson Irvine and Connor Metcalfe have been on a world tour in the true sense of the word. I'll see most of them on the training ground for the first time today and will get a feel for how they are. Leart Paqarada, Jackson Irvine and Christopher Avevor won’t be available."

...the loss of the two captains, Leart Paqarada and Jackson Irvine: "It's unfortunate that both captains are out at the same time, but we have enough alternatives. Lars Ritzka, in particular, has been outstanding in training for months. His only problem is that in Paqa he has someone in front of him who consistently performs very well. Lars will stand in for him, I'm not giving away any secrets in saying that. It's a different situation in Jackson's position. We have a number of alternatives there - Afeez Aremu and Betim Fazliji are defensive options, Carlo Boukhalfa and Connor Metcalfe attacking options. Our job is to sift out the right candidate."

...the focus in training during the international break: The extended break gave us an opportunity to take a bit of a breather on the one hand and keep working on various things on the other. We want to get more people into the opposition box because that's where our strikers have their strengths. Defensively, we give very little away, but we're conceding too many goals. We have to make it harder for the opposition to create big chances, and we made some progress there last week. If we want to be more successful, these are definitely the two main issues. We spoke to the players about the various issues and have worked on them. It's a process that won't happen overnight, but we are seeing progress and are sure we can put in better performances and get better results."

...the game plan against Heidenheim: "Our first priority is always to bring our strengths to the pitch. We'll see what works for us to ensure we're successful on Saturday and able to cause Heidenheim stress. That said, we also have to look at what Heidenheim can do, where their strengths are, and how we can contain them. The game will push us to the limit, Heidenheim are a top side. That's precisely what makes it so interesting to deliver the best possible performance against a team like them and leave the Millerntor pitch victorious again. I expect the game to be much more intense than our most recent outings. It'll be much more end-to-end. Nevertheless, our approach will always be to be pro-active on the ball. Being brave and creative has been our hallmark in the last two years."

...the comments by club president Oke Göttlich on the way things are going on the pitch: Oke didn't say anything I haven't said before. Ten points aren't enough for me either, nor am I happy that we haven't won away from home since February. As president, Oke has an interest in the club's overall development and it's his right to say that. I have no problem with it at all. Oke is in the same boat as Andreas Bornemann and me, I've never seen it any other way. He's always backed us when things haven't been going quite so well to the extent that we've put our heads together, analysed things and drawn our conclusions and that's going to be the case again now. The task in the next few weeks and months will be to see where we can improve and consider how we can tackle the issues in such a way that we take a step in the right direction. Sport is all about performing, we know that. The biggest pressure is the pressure I put myself under."

Photos: Witters

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