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Into the end-of-season run-in! The Boys in Brown have three games left to play, starting with a trip to Holstein Kiel on Friday evening (kick-off: 18.30 CET). Head coach Timo Schultz looked ahead to the meeting with the side currently sitting in third place at a news conference this morning.

Timo Schultz on...

…the personnel situation: "We're weighing up whether it makes sense to throw Sebastian Ohlsson and Igor Matanovic fully into training when there's little prospect of them getting playing time or whether we let them rest and nurse their injuries. Everyone else is available for selection, including Philipp Ziereis and Leart Paqarada, who resumed full training yesterday. Christopher Buchtmann and Ryo Miyaichi have also reached a stage where they could be an option for the squad."

…the level of motivation for the last three games: "For us, it's not the end-of-season wind-down, it's the run-in. The lads see it that way, too, and are training accordingly. There are nine points up for grabs and we want them. I don't need to motivate any of my players ahead of a second division game, especially when we're going to Kiel or playing Hannover at home. I have a team who don't need much motivating. The lads are already up for it themselves. When the opening whistle goes, we get the ball forward and chuck everything at it. Holstein Kiel can get ready for that. I can promise our fans that we'll go flat out again, like we did against Fürth, and are going for all three points."

...opponents Holstein Kiel: "They rank among the very best teams in the league and are in with a great chance of going up. Forget the cup game at Dortmund, it didn't go well for them from the start there. Last night against Sandhausen they played really well. They were totally dominant and also had the power to step up another gear towards the end. For me, they're the best team in the league in terms of their positional and build-up play. Up front, they have a couple of players who are capable of deciding a game on their own. They deserve to be up there and I expect them to be in the top three at the end of the season. It's a tough game for us but we're looking forward to it."

…our own end to the campaign: "I'm glad we can't get into difficulty at the bottom end of the table anymore. We had the sword of Damocles hanging over us for much of the season. We're enjoying the situation as it is and looking forward to the remaining games and want to get the best possible return."

…a second division that could include Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Hertha BSC, Dynamo Dresden and Hansa Rostock next season: "Indeed, Sky will have to consider whether the distribution method for the TV money is right the way it is. I'm sure the ratings in the second division will be higher than those for a lot of games in the first next season. We can look forward to a really cool league with lots of fantastic games. People have often talked in terms of the best second division of all time. I would definitely say the second division next season will be the most attractive of them all."


Photos: Witters


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