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SCHULTZ OPTIMISTIC AHEAD OF TOUGH NÜRNBERG TEST

The Boys in Boys end a busy week with a trip to fifth-placed FC Nürnberg this Sunday (13.30 CET). On Friday morning, head coach Timo Schultz looked ahead to the game at the customary pre-match news conference.

Timo Schultz on...

...possible changes to his side: "There may well be some changes. We're in a three-match week and if we have the opportunity to freshen things up in one or two positions, we will do."

...the holding midfield position: "In Eric Smith, Afeez Aremu and Rico Benatelli, we have three lads who interpret that position in very different ways. Eric got his chance against Sandhausen and did really well in his 60-65 minutes after a lengthy spell out with injury. We'll have to see how well he's dealt with it, though he looked fine yesterday. We have excellent alternatives in Afeez and Rico. Let's see who we go for."

...going back top: "It generally feels better when you're up at the top and not down at the bottom. The decisive thing is knowing that we've worked hard for it and need to keep working hard to make sure it stays that way for as long as possible."

...equalling the previous best tally of 36 points in the first half of the season: "That's the first I've heard of it, but it isn't important. We want to win every game and get as many points as possible. Whether we set a record or not in the process is irrelevant."

...opponents Nürnberg: "Defensively they're the most stable team this season. In my view, they made some very good signings before the season started. They're having a solid season and are in the chasing pack. Nürnberg play a similar system to us, so we may have to come up with something in terms of how we respond to that. Nürnberg do things differently defensively compared with us. They don't operate with strikers there anymore, whereas we use a diamond formation. I did see Nürnberg in a 4-3-3 against HSV, however. They're very flexible tactically yet quite clear in their patterns. It's a tough ask but we go into the game full of optimism."

...the excellent Nürnberg defence: "The low number of goals they've conceded speaks for itself. You always have phases in a season when things go well and you don't concede many, though you also have phases where you concede four times from five set pieces. But when you've only conceded twice from a corner in 14 games, that also speaks for itself. Christian Mathenia is definitely a big factor at FCN. He's had an outstanding season so far and is one of the best keepers in the league."

 

Photos: Witters

 

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