FC St. Pauli are in Bavaria and will have to beat 1860 München Saturday and earn their first away win of the season in order to escape the relegation zone.
The Hamburg club’s season has been nothing short of disastrous, earning just 17 points from 21 games. Their strike rate of minus-18 is a league worst by a considerable margin.
Relegation to the third tier continually grows as a existential threat, but it doesn’t mean any added pressure, according to head coach Ewald Lienen.
“The pressure is always there,” the 61-year-old tells St. Pauli’s official website. “But we can only help ourselves and need to look inward. We can’t lose our nerve and will have to go to Munich mentally strong and try to dominate and be good defensively.”
“If we succeed, we can take the three points.”
Lienen was 1860 München’s head coach from May 2009 and June 2010. During that period, the club had some severe economic problems, but the 61-year-old still recalls his period at the Allianz Arena fondly.
“I had a very busy year with many beautiful memories in Munich. Despite the financial difficulties, we had first-class training facilities from the use of which many players have found their way up to the Bundesliga,” he says.
St. Pauli will have to make do without the services of Markus Thorandt, Bernd Nehrig, Christopher Buchtmann, and Philipp Ziereis. Moreover, Sebastian Schachten is still injured, and may also miss the encounter.
Whether Lienen continues to use Robin Himmelmann between the posts or decides to again put trust in Philipp Tschauner remains to be seen.
1860 will host St. Pauli with a new head coach on their sideline, a man familiar to the fans at Millerntor-Stadion, Torsten Fröhling. The 48-year-old stepped up from die Löwen’s reserve team earlier this month to replace Markus von Ahlen, who held the position as 1860’s head coach for just a few months. Fröhling was at St. Pauli from 1991 to 1997.
“As a player at St. Pauli, I have experienced the most successful and best times,” Fröhling tells St. Pauli’s official website. “Therefore, it is of course a very special game, but I’m sorry, we want and need a win.”
The last time 1860 collected a victory was an impressive 3-0 victory at VfL Bochum. The Lions have since taken just three points of a possible 21. The not-so-impressive stretch has dragged the club down to the bottom of the 2. Bundesliga, making the Saturday’s meeting a potential six-point affair for both sides.
Fröhling says his club has to stick together in order to start climbing the table.
“The goal is to retain coolness and act together. It is important that everyone cheer the squad, regardless of whether they play or not,” says the new coach.
Edu Bedia and Rodri are yet to have a comeback date, and both will therefore miss today’s encounter. The rest of the squad seems to be ready to play though, at least after they have had a conversation with their new head coach.
“I will talk to everyone and tell them that there are still plenty of games,” explains Fröhling. “Everyone is needed.”
St. Pauli will be backed by about 2,000 traveling supporters, according to their official website.
1860 München fans are not expected to easily be silenced by the away supporters, though. The blue and white faithfully calls on their like-minded to attend the encounter and give their support.
“Together! We call on all die Löwen fans to come to the home game on Saturday, February 21, 2015, against FC St. Pauli. Whether you are in the city or region, occasional stadium-goer or training lap-wing, young or old, everyone has to come to this very important game for our Lions, because all is not lost,” the supporters write on 1860 München’s official website.
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