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International Football: Germany St Pauli will need to up their game to pull away from the relegation zone

WHAT was supposed to be a favourable run of fixtures for St Pauli FC going into the winter break hasn’t got off to the best of starts.

They were only able to draw at home to Jahn Regensburg in their first game back following the international break. It could easily have been worse, but, having found themselves 2-0 down within 25-minutes, goals from Lasse Sobiech and Sami Allagui rescued a point at the Millerntor.

Next up was a trip to second-bottom Greuther Furth where they fell to a hugely disappointing 4-0 defeat. The result took their Bavarian opponents closer to safety, but going into the game St Pauli would have been hoping that any convincing scoreline would go in their favour.

Goalkeeper Robin Himmelmann summed up the feeling in the camp. "We made a decent start, but after 20 minutes that was it,” he said.

“It's hard to say why. We obviously wanted to do better, but we simply can't lose 4-0. The result is a disaster.

“We have to stand tall and give as good as we get. We need to get the game out of our heads now and come back against Bielefeld."

The Arminia Bielefeld game took place last night, just as the Star went to press, and it was an opportunity for Olaf Janssen’s side to end their six game winless streak. The manager has called for more passion from his players in forthcoming games as they look to turn things around.

"At Furth we didn't show the desire to win the game at all costs,” said Janssen.

“We need to have that kind of desire on the pitch, both in training and during games. Any player who shows the right attitude, desire and determination in training is welcome. The desire to be successful is the fuel for our engine."

The club are now in a situation where they are closer to the relegation zone than they are to the promotion playoff places and, rather than looking up the table, they are now looking over their shoulders.

"The season has shown how evenly balanced the league is,” added Janssen.

“We're dealing with the situation with respect and humility. No-one is wasting time looking up the table.”

St Pauli entertain Duisburg and Bochum at the Millerntor in the two games before the German leagues take their winter break and they will be looking to go into this rest period reflecting on victories rather than dwelling on defeats.


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