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18.04.2024 / English

“Under no circumstances give anything away”

Who is available and who is missing? How does Torsten Lieberknecht view the relegation battle in the Bundesliga and how does he experience his team in the game and in training? Before SV Darmstadt 98's away game at 1. FC Köln on Saturday (April 20/3:30pm), the press conference with the Darmstadt head coach took place on Thursday afternoon (April 18). We have noted the most important statements for you.

Foto: SV 98
… player availability:

There is a big question mark behind Oscar Vilhelmsson, who suffered a blow in training. We have to see if he can train tomorrow. He was in a lot of pain yesterday and overnight. Braydon Manu is also out (torn hamstring). Alexander Brunst continues to struggle with muscular problems. He won’t be there, nor will Fraser Hornby, who is making progress. On the other hand, Tim Skarke and Julian Justvan have started training again. Like Fabian Nürnberger, all are an options for Köln. Marvin Mehlem took his first steps on the training field with little opponent and physical contact. We will look after his two fibula fractures with the greatest care so that we can carefully rebuild him.

… on Fabian Holland:

The big bad news came on Monday that we would be missing Fabian Holland with a massive knee injury. This is extremely bitter for Fabi and of course for us too. Accordingly, I would like to say again here: Get well soon! He will probably have surgery next week. He will receive full support from us until he can stand on the pitch again.

… about the rest of the season:

We have an obligation not to give anything away under any circumstances. We are ready to approach and finish the games in a highly professional manner right up to the last match day. Our fans also had to go through a lot of disappointment this season: We also want to convey to them that we will never give up and will represent Darmstadt 98 well. The fact that 3,500 Lilien fans alone accompanied us to Köln is an incredible number.

… about optimism and realism in the relegation battle:

The optimism has turned into realism for me. For a long time I rated the team in such a way that we had a real chance. But in the current situation – especially after the game at Mainz 05 – we know that realistically it will be very, very difficult. Nevertheless, I am optimistic about what comes next and what we have ahead of us.

… about the mood within the team:

I can only point to the game against Freiburg: everyone saw a team that lived in Mainz after the setback. They tried everything until the end to make the fans happy. There is also total life in training. All of our weekday sessions are public so everyone can see for themselves. In the game and also in training you can tell that the boys want to present themselves.

... about the upcoming opponent:

Köln has a very strong sprinting team – one of the strongest in the league. With Kainz, Alidou and Maina, they have a few guys in there who want to make their mark, especially in the transition game. Köln is also dangerous when it comes to standards. At home in front of over 50,000 spectators they are pushed forward by their audience. So I think they’ll come at us high and press us.

… about the transfer of Fynn Lakenmacher:

We dealt with Fynn very intensively in a timely manner. I spotted him at a game back then and I know that I wasn’t alone in the stadium at the time. Paul Fernie was sitting not far from me… (grins) Fynn will look good on us. He comes to us on a free transfer and is a 23-year-old player who can develop. It’s a good transfer for Darmstadt 98. He brings physical robustness. We were also impressed that he works very hard for his team.

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