As Tayfun Korkut's Hannover 96 prepare to host Mainz 05 on Tuesday night, the visitors' boss Kasper Hjulmand has demanded a high focus from his side as they look to keep the pressure on the teams above them.
"That's in the past now"
- Kasper Hjulmand
Hjulmand's Foals had been unable to win any of their eight Bundesliga games prior to the winter break, but kicked off the second half of the campaign in style with a 5-0 win over SC Paderborn 07. The Mainz boss, however, refuses to get carried away. "The team was very happy with the win, but that's in the past now and we're focusing on our next game," said the Dane. "Even after victories, it's important to analyse the game properly and continue to work hard."
Hjulmand will be without the injured Ja-Cheol Koo and Jonas Hofmann for the trip to Lower Saxony, while Jo-Hoo Park has yet to return from international duty with South Korea. Despite this, Mainz will feel they have enough to take home all three points in what promises to be a tricky game on Tuesday night.
"The team's performance was ok"
- Tayfun Korkut
Meawhile, hosts Hannover are preparing to bounce back from their narrow 1-0 defeat to Schalke 04 in the first game after the winter break. "The team's performance was ok, but in order to pick up points you also have to score goals," said Reds' head coach Tayfun Korkut. Hannover fans will be hoping that is the case as the season progresses and the Reds look to push towards the European places.
With 24 points after 18 games, Korkut's side sit eighth in the Bundesliga table, just five points adrift of Bayer Leverkusen two places above them, and three points ahead of their Tuesday night opponents, Mainz. A win for either side would be a big boost as the second half of German football's season properly gets underway.