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Schultz: "I'm sure we'll throw everything at it"

The Boys in Brown go to FC Schalke 04 on Saturday evening (20.30 CET) with just two games left to go in the end-of-season run-in. On Thursday lunchtime head coach Timo Schultz looked ahead to the summit meeting with the league leaders in conversation with the media.

Timo Schultz on...

...his personnel: "Eric Smith won't be ready for the weekend and Guido Burgstaller has no chance either. If we go by the regulations, all the infected players should be able to leave the house today and take part in training again, but we'll have a look at how the lads are, what their symptoms were like and then consider who we can involve in training and who we include in our plans for Schalke, if not from the start but at least for the bench. The lads have to be healthy, come through all the examinations and confirm they feel able to train and play. Tonight we'll decide which players are on the coach tomorrow and which aren't. My impression of those members of the squad who've been here is that they are surprisingly composed, positive and raring to go. We've made the best of it and have had some good training sessions, though obviously under different conditions than usual. The lads we added from the Under-23s and the Under-19s have also done really well."

...opponents Schalke 04 and the change of coach in March: "They've put a great squad together that's packed with first-division players. It isn't just the two up top, the one-off striker Simon Terodde and Marius Bülter, who I think have a certain extra quality for this league, it's the whole squad really, as they've shown consistently in recent weeks. Sometimes it's just small things that make a difference after a change of coach. You have to say they played some really good football at times under Dimitrios Grammozis. They led the way in lots of statistics but lacked that little bit of luck they needed to be as successful as they are now. Mike Büskens stands for the club and a certain type of enthusiasm. He's managed to get hold of the team in the right places, make the odd adjustment and drag the luck on his side, especially in his first few games."

...his own game plan: "I think we're still the best counterattacking team in the league, so it's always an option for us to get the ball to the frontmen as quickly as possible when we win possession, but I'll have to see which players I have at my disposal first and then consider how I can make use of their strengths. This time it may be more about how we can rob our opponents of their strengths while staying true to our style of play. I'm sure we'll have a good plan and will bring our strengths to the pitch. We'll need to have a very good day. If we can bring what we stand for to the pitch, the things we do well, we'll be in with a chance, even at Schalke. I'm sure we'll throw everything at it."

...the expected atmosphere: "The atmosphere will be gigantic. The whole of Schalke is fired up for the game and expecting a win against us, but the atmosphere can also motivate my players to perform at their best, especially in the situation we find ourselves in after the setbacks of recent weeks. We'll also have lots of fans there who will really get behind us. We aren't going to hide, that's for sure, we're going to get the ball forward and push Schalke to the limit."

...our chances in the promotion race: "Our aim has to be to have something to play for when we host Fortuna Düsseldorf at the Millerntor on the final day. If we can manage that on Saturday, we'll have taken one step and then we can take the second."


Photos: Witters