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Stöver targets a higher level of stability

While the players headed off on their Christmas holiday straight after the game against VfL Bochum, Uwe Stöver stayed in Hamburg a little longer to continue laying the foundations for the second part of the season.

"We've used the last few days for intensive discussions and an analysis of the on-field situation," the director of sport said. "Though the results in the two games after the change of coach were positive, overall we aren't satisfied with our record after 18 games. Our prime aim is to achieve a higher level of stability, target the top-end of the table, work our way up, and bring consistency to our performances. We also want to improve our home record and excite the fans with our football."

Stöver, 50, also said there could be changes to the playing squad. "In view of the injury situation we're looking to add to our attacking options," he said. "As in previous years, however, that will be done according to the principle of financial prudence. We're working very hard to get things done as soon as possible so any new signings can be integrated during the winter break, but it could take until the end of the transfer period to complete."

The Boys in Brown begin their preparations for the rest of the season with a blood lactate test on 2 January before making their way to Malaga the next day, with all current members of the squad earmarked for the Spanish training camp. "As Markus Kauczinski wants to use the training camp to build up a more detailed picture of the team, we don't intend to offload any players for the time being," said Stöver.


Photos: Witters