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Back to Bundesliga 2 football! After the final international break of 2020, the Boys in Brown guest at SC Paderborn on Saturday (13:00 CET). The East Westphalians are unbeaten in five and looking to continue their run, while the Boys in Brown are hoping to step up their game to get a result after five matches without a win.

The news that the club will produce its own teamsport collection for the 2021/22 season came as a surprise to many. Fans will be able to (pre-)order the new shirt from 1 December, with the remaining items in the DIIY brand package becoming available in May 2021. DIIY stands for "Do it. Improve Yourself!", and that has also been the motto for the Boys in Brown since the conclusive 3-0 defeat against Karlsruhe nearly two weeks ago.

"We have to improve both in attack and defence," said striker Simon Makienok in the week. “We can't keep conceding so many goals, and we need to create better opportunities and score more often.” The Boys in Brown were nowhere near keeping their first clean sheet against KSC and also lacked their previous precision in front of goal.

Head coach Timo Schultz reflected on "two good weeks of training" in the run-up to Saturday’s game and was equally pleased with the 4-2 friendly win at Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen. Though the Boys in Brown again failed to keep a clean sheet, they did show more appetite in front of goal in a much-improved performance. Schultz's team will be looking to build on that at Paderborn, of course, while giving as little away at the back as possible.

"Improve yourself" will again be the maxim for the players when the game kicks off on Saturday, especially as Paderborn went into the international break on a high after a convincing 4-0 win at Darmstadt stretched their unbeaten run to five games. Steffen Baumgart's side have halted the slide after a shaky start that saw them lose at Holstein Kiel (1-0) and at home to HSV (4-3) and are now back on track.

It remains to be seen how the season will go for the East Westphalians. You could say Paderborn were a club of extremes, given that they have finished either 2nd or 18th in each of the last seven seasons – resulting in automatic promotion or relegation each time. The only exception came in the summer of 2017 when they avoided relegation to the fourth-tier Regionalliga West only because 1860 Munich were refused a licence and demoted. Baumgart then guided his team back to Bundesliga with back-to-back promotions, only to return to the second division straight away.

SCP could continue their ascent to the promotion berths with a win over the Boys in Brown. Timo Schultz’s charges will do their utmost to prevent that from happening in their bid to end a run of five games without a win (three draws, two defeats) and take all three points, as they did on their last visit to Paderborn in March 2019. Let’s hope the motto of the new sportswear brand will provide the necessary inspiration. Do it. Improve yourself!


Photos: Witters