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Schultz: "I'm sure we'll increase our strike rate"

After three away games in a row, the Boys in Brown return to the Millerntor for the second home game of the season newly promoted FC Magdeburg on Sunday (13.30) CET. Head coach Timo Schultz took time out as usual in the run up to take questions from the media.

Timo Schultz on...

...the personnel situation: Eric Smith, David Nemeth and Etienne Amenyido have trained and I assume they'll be available, though we still have to clarify with our medical department to what extent and how exactly. Adam Dźwigała came back from Kaiserslautern with an injury but it's turned out to be not quite so bad as it first looked. David has been out for a long time, but he's been very much involved in the last few weeks in terms of the amount of training he’s done. Otherwise, most of the squad are available, fit and up for the game."

...the acquisition of keeper Sascha Burchert: When Nikola Vasilj got injured we said from the outset that we'd have to see how we'd set ourselves up in that position. It was a process that took a bit longer than just a few days. In Sascha, we've found someone who has already shown he can hold his own in the top two divisions. He brings the experience our young team still lacks in part, but I want to reiterate that we're one hundred percent satisfied with Dennis Smarsch. He's had our backing at all times and we're positive about him and his development."

...the recent lack of effectiveness in front of goal: This is an issue affecting lots of teams, not just us. That of putting in a huge amount of effort for little return. I think we should have faith in our strikers, wish them the luck they need and give them the time to develop. I'm sure we'll increase our strike rate then."

...the ambient conditions with temperatures above 30 degrees: "I'm convinced my players can go flat out for 90 minutes. Games like these also have natural breaks and the referee sometimes orders a drinks break. It's always a question of how the game develops. How dynamic it is, how many transition moments there are, and with how much control the two teams go about their business. I expect my lads to go full throttle from the off and I'm sure they can go for 90 minutes."

...opponents Magdeburg and the contrasting style of play compared with Kaiserslautern: Kaiserslautern were very compact and hoped to switch the play quickly by winning possession. Magdeburg are very much a footballing side who are always looking for solutions along the ground and involve the goalkeeper in the build-up. They've had significantly more possession than the opposition in their first few games and that will be their approach against us, too. It's a meeting of two teams who want to play football, who want to get forward, who are creative and bold and who are prepared to take risks, so the fans can look forward to a great game of football."

...our style of play: We always consider how we can play to our strengths and with the conviction that is our hallmark. We know we'll have the fans behind us. We want to take them with us and give them something to shout about. Playing in a way that means there's a buzz in the ground is a part of that. That the fans look forward to going to the game. That chances are created and goals are scored and there's a team on the pitch who stick together. We've worked hard for that over the last two years. We've repeatedly gone out and intimidated the opposition, especially at home, and kept them so busy that they make mistakes and we have our moments. If we manage to put our stamp on the game, then Magdeburg will have problems here."

Photo: Witters