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Schultz: "I'm expecting a really, really rough ride tomorrow"

Next up for the Boys in Brown after the 2-1 DFB Cup defeat of Borussia Dortmund is the derby return at HSV this Friday (18.30 CET). In the run-up to the game, head coach Timo Schultz sat down with the media at a news conference on Thursday morning.

Timo Schultz on...

…the injury situation and our preparations for the derby: "The lads are tired after the cup game but essentially they've all come through it OK. I'm confident the players will be available again. With a win in the bag, everything seems easier and you recover a bit faster. Igor Matanović had a positive PCR test unfortunately and will not be available. The task before the game is to make a few minor adjustments, freshen things up and get the lads on the right track because the tension going into a derby is so much higher."

...the return of Daniel-Kofi Kyereh: "He landed in Hamburg this morning and we'll have a look at what kind of shape he's in before making a decision. A fit and healthy Kofi is obviously an option for us. We have a couple of players with exceptional ability, and Kofi is definitely one of them. We can't replace him one-to-one but we have managed very well collectively."

...central defence: "I'm glad to have so many good centre-backs. James Lawrence did well during the break and was already an option for the Aue game. We'll have a look at what our opponents have to offer and how fresh the lads are and then make a decision for tomorrow. The battle for places is in full swing and everyone has to step up to the plate. I'm glad to have so many good alternatives."

...the progress made by HSV under Tim Walter: "HSV will always be HSV. They always aspire to challenge at the top and achieve promotion. This year I've seen a very young team come on extremely well. They've found their feet and only lost two games, one of them against us. I'm expecting a really, really rough ride tomorrow and I also expect them to win more games in the second half of the season and stay in contention at the top right to the end. Let's see how they go in the next few games."

...the contrasting styles of play: "In football, it's generally the case that the space is getting tighter and you have less time. We're not the kind of team to sit back and wait and hope something comes our way. We want to be active – both on and off the ball – and that's how we aim to play tomorrow. The way HSV play is quite special. It comes with opportunities and risks for us. I think we coped very well with it in the reverse fixture. We have a plan and we know how we want to play against them. It's the same every weekend: if we play to our strengths and show what makes us strong, then we can influence the way the game will go."

...the normality of the derby and our recent good record: "We don't get anything for the past. Our record in the second division is very good, but if you take all the derbies together, our neighbours are well ahead of us. We start from scratch again, and Friday is another chapter, another story waiting to be written. It will never be normal. The atmosphere is crackling everywhere. People mention it whether you're at the baker's or just walking down the street. The fans of our neighbours won't accept the normality of the second division. We have an excellent record and we'd be delighted to keep it going."

 

Photos: Witters

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