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Schultz: "The lads know what they have to bring to the pitch to win the game"

FC St. Pauli go again in the league on Sunday (13.30 CET) looking to secure another three points on home turf against Hansa Rostock. In the run-up to the visit of the promoted side, head coach Timo Schultz attended the customary news conference to take questions from the media.

Timo Schultz on...

...the personnel situation: "Leart Paqarada had to pull out of training on Wednesday after experiencing some pain in his knee but fortunately it doesn't look too serious. We'll assess him in training today and tomorrow to see whether he can play or not. Lars Ritzka, who's getting better and better in training and has done well for the Under-23s, is first in line to stand in if Paqarada does miss out."

...potential changes to the side: "Tactics are part of your considerations every week, but you also look at how fresh the lads are. We have a three-match week coming up, so you're already thinking about how you can manage and spread the workload. Sunday's game is our first priority, though, and we want to put the best possible team out, one we think is in the best shape and is best placed to beat Rostock.

...defending opposition set pieces: "We're doing very well when it comes to our individual and collective defending of set plays, but you also have phases in a season where you do concede and don't look quite so good for a period of time. At the moment, I feel we're very stable from corners and free-kicks and I expect it to stay that way because the lads have recognised the importance of these situations and are always pushing each other."

...the rivalry between the two clubs: "It's a special game for both clubs. It's always been a heated affair – both home and away – and I expect that will be the case on Sunday again. I think it's good that the clubs launched a joint appeal for a game free of violence yesterday. The sporting rivalry should and must be in the foreground. We're hoping things will stay calm in and around the ground, of course. The lads are focused and know how to conduct themselves. I don't feel we're at risk of getting carried away or losing our nerve. The lads know what they have to bring to the pitch to win the game."

...the favourites tag and the expectations that go with it: "What's key is that we put in a good performance. We'll prepare for the game as best we can today and tomorrow. We know we've done very well in our last five home games. We also know we can put teams under pressure and create chances. If we can do that and bring our own game to the pitch, I'm confident we will win, regardless of where we are in the table, what pressure we're under and what the expectations are."


Photos: Witters


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