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Schultz relishing Betzenberg atmosphere

In the run-up to Sunday's away game at FC Kaiserslautern (13.30 CET), head coach Timo Schultz took time out to take questions from the media at a news conference on Friday morning.

Timo Schultz on...

...the squad: "My personnel update is relatively short. Nemeth and Amenyido are more or less back in full training. Smith and Medić sat out on Tuesday, but I hope both will be back in full today. We'll then decide whether it makes sense for the four of them at the weekend. Wieckhoff took time off on his birthday due to illness but he'll probably be available again today or early next week at the latest."

...the opposition: "You don't need to watch any videos to know what to expect on Sunday, especially in terms of the intensity in front of what will hopefully be a great crowd of around 40,000 fans, so we'll have to make sure the lads are ready both mentally and physically. We're looking forward to playing there again at long last. It's really quite something to go up there. We've made a good start and a three-point haul at the Betzenberg would be really good."

...the injury to Nikola Vasilj: "Soon after Niko got injured we said we’d obviously have to think about how to proceed. A broken finger isn't so good for a goalkeeper because you can't always predict exactly how it will heal, especially given the situation that the first part of the season ends in November this year. We've been thinking about whether to expand our goalkeeping team and how ever since and that process isn't over yet. We aren't ruling anything out, but won't rush into anything either."

...the defensive performances so far: "Essentially, I was satisfied with the first two competitive games. We didn't like what we saw against Straelen, though, so that's what we're working on at the moment. In Kaiserslautern we're up against a team who are compact and like to get into the game by winning possession, which means we'll need better cover. That's a major focus of our preparations. The likelihood of winning the game is greater the fewer goals you concede, of course, so we want to make sure we're more compact and perhaps a bit more defensive."

...his personal experience of the Betzenberg: "It's a mixed bag. We won 4-1 once but we also got thrashed occasionally. They’re always great games there. Always up and down. On Sunday I'm expecting another game between two teams with an open approach. The home side will be driven forward, and we always want to get forward, and so I'm hoping the fans will get to see a great game."

...the atmosphere at the Betzenberg: "There are players who enjoy it and are able to raise their game off the atmosphere even if they get booed. Some even get extra energy from it. Others have to get used to it first and need one or two situations to get into the game. It can be an advantage for a team if you're used to the noise levels, but I think my team are really looking forward to the game."

Photos: Witters