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Schultz: "We aim to be variable and keep stressing the opposition"

FC St. Pauli go into the home game against SV Sandhausen on Sunday (13.30 CET) looking to add the next three points to their league tally. 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…

...the personnel situation: "In theory, every member of the squad can be involved on Sunday. This afternoon will be the first time I'm in a situation where really every player will be on the pitch and training fully."

...the penalty takers, given that Leart Paqarada has missed the last two: "I told Leart after the Fürth game that I'd have no objections to him taking the next one but he said no in that moment. We'll discuss it before the game on Sunday. The coaching team name the three players who could take one in a game and then the lads decide themselves who feels the most comfortable on the pitch, but we'll discuss that before the game as well."

...the return of Nikola Vasilj as first-choice keeper: "In football people like to talk about the team having a spine, players who, when fit, essentially always play because of their experience and level of performance. Niko can be a factor here and not only because of the calmness he radiates. As coach, I obviously hope this will have a positive effect on the team."

...the choice between defensive stability and attacking punch: If I had the choice, then the coin with the attacking punch wouldn't have to land that side up because we're already the third highest-scoring team, so I'd actually go for defensive stability even though it will always be our style to get the ball forward, be pro-active and stress the opposition. We're also the team who have the second or third-lowest number of attempts on our goal. That said, the quality of these chances is still too high and that’s something we need to work on. We've already conceded five goals on the break, which is definitely too many. All in all, we're on the right track but we still work to do to get the extra percentage points we need to stop conceding goals, prevent counterattacks and have better cover at the back."

...his team's workrate: "That's the basis of our game. That we play with intensity - both in terms of the total distance covered and, in particular, the sprints and tempo runs we put in. We need that for our game. We aim to be variable and keep stressing the opposition."

...opponents Sandhausen: When a team like Sandhausen have their own style of play and put their faith in being solid and switching the play, you don't need to run for miles. It's more a case of being strong in the challenge in your own final third and your own penalty box, and they have that in Aleksandr Zhirov and Dario Đumić. It suits them down to the ground, and they have a clear idea of how they want to play. It's going to be a tough game where we'll have more of the ball and will probably have to keep battling their resistance in order to break through their backline. They'll have lots of men there, yet they still manage to threaten in transition and from set plays. We'll have to be patient and constantly alert, especially when they try to break, to make sure we don't give them too many opportunities. I'm relying on my team to be creative and pass the ball well in order to cause Sandhausen problems and allow us to create enough chances and score goals."

Photos: Witters