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SCHULTZ: "AN AMAZING RUN WE WANT TO KEEP GOING"

Head coach Timo Schultz sat down with the media on Monday morning ahead of tomorrow night's DFB Cup quarter-final tie at Union Berlin (20.45 CET). We noted down what he had to say.

Timo Schultz on…

…the injury situation: "Leart Paqarada joined the casualty list after Saturday's game. He had to limp onto the bus afterwards, but he seemed OK yesterday and is feeling optimistic even though he didn't join us on our bike ride. We'll have a look later today to see if it makes sense. Philipp Ziereis has a problem with his thigh again, it's proving more persistent under competitive conditions than we'd hoped. Adam Dźwigała was able to end the game at Ingolstadt and came in early this morning for treatment. We'll see how it looks in training, I'm eager myself to see what the situation is. Nevertheless, I'll sure we'll put out 11 fully fit players tomorrow evening."

…opponents Union Berlin: "We don't expect Union Berlin to sit back and give us space. They're extremely stable not only because of their system but also because of their physicality in the individual positions. They're playing a very good role in the Bundesliga. It's going to be really tough."

…the way the competition has progressed: "It's been a tough run so far with really interesting opponents. There were fireworks at Magdeburg, but we battled our way through in the end. Then Buchti's late goal at Dresden. And it goes without saying that the Borussia Dortmund game was a highlight. We're on an amazing run and aim to keep it going in Berlin. Even getting to the second round is not something we take for granted. Now we're in the quarter-final and have a good chance of reaching the semis."

…the significance of a semi-final as a player and a coach: "You can't compare the two. Getting through to the semi-final as a third-division side back then against all the teams beginning with a B and the quarter-final against Bremen on a snow-covered pitch is something you never forget. But a win at Union Berlin would be right up there, too."

…his expectations going into the game: "As a top-flight side they should be looking to shape the play. They have enormous power up front and are targeting the box as soon as they enter the midfield. They look to put it in the mixer straightaway without moving the ball around too much. I don't think the two sides will spend much feeling each other out. Instead, they'll want to get forward quickly."

…the stage offered by the game: "Simply the kick-off time and the fact that it's a quarter-final tie at a first division club – the nerves will be jangling at the latest by the time the teams run out. It's a huge opportunity for us – I don't know how many of our lads have reached a cup semi-final before. We want to soak up as much of the atmosphere and the energy as possible and turn it into a positive for us."

… Union Berlin's upward trend: "We have to say without any sense of envy that Union have left us behind on the pitch in the last five years. They've entered very stable waters since Urs Fischer took charge as coach. Leaving the footballing aspect to one side for a moment, however, as a club we've chosen to go a different route than Union Berlin and I think that's good."

…the departure of Max Kruse: "In Sven Michel they've signed a very similar type of player to Max Kruse. Max is obviously a difficult player to replace for Union Berlin, it does hurt a side not to have him around anymore. And in Marvin Friedrich they've lost another key player as well."

…the possibility of it going to penalties: "Penalties aren't a lottery as far as I'm concerned but they are difficult to practise because of the fatigue and the mental pressure the players have to deal with. I'm confident my players can put the ball in the net from ten yards. It's simply a question of finding the ones who are capable of doing it there and then."

 

Photos: Witters

 

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