The disaster from the first half of the season has not been repeated. After Holstein Kiel suffered a 7-2 defeat at SC Paderborn in August 2022, their heaviest defeat since they were promoted to the second division in 2017, the focus on Saturday was on controlling the game. "We had a good mix of attacking and counterattacking," said midfielder Finn Porath after the 1-1 draw, adding: "The point is okay, even though we deserved a win today. It was a step forward."
The draw against the promotion contenders, who had previously won four games in a row, was above all a step towards a carefree rest of the season. With 32 points, the lead over the relegation places is large, but the gap to the promotion places is just as great. Kiel is thus stuck in the no-man's-land of the 2nd Bundesliga. Does this mean a loss of motivation?
Coach Marcel Rapp does not have this fear. "The boys are keen to win games," he clarifies, adding with regard to television revenue: "It's also about the ranking, where we are at the end of the season." The better Holstein Kiel finishes the season in tabular form, the higher the proportion of TV revenue will be in the future. And the players also have financial interests, as Rapp explains: "It's about bonuses for the boys. I'm far from saying that the season is over and we're letting the season run out. We'll keep playing and see what else is in."
Rapp wants to set a good example: "How high the tension is also depends on how you set an example as a coach. We'll work with the boys next week just like we did this week or ten weeks ago. That's how the players notice , that there is a lot of tension. We train as if everything were at stake. They are professionals who give it their all. And if someone relaxes, someone else plays." According to Rapp, there shouldn't be any such cases anyway: "We have good guys, so I have no concerns at all."
While Holstein Kiel is positioned in the middle of the table, the next two opponents are fighting to stay in the league. Saturday is the away game at the bottom of the table SV Sandhausen. A week later, the penultimate Jahn Regensburg is a guest in Kiel.
The northern derby at Hamburger SV follows immediately before the international break. According to the club, around 54,000 tickets for the game in the Volksparkstadion have already been sold. In this atmosphere, the motivation should be great anyway - probably even independent of TV revenue and player bonuses.
Schedule Holstein Kiel Homepage Holstein Kiel Table 2. Bundesliga Squad Holstein Kiel Homepage SC Paderborn Squad SC Paderborn Schedule SC Paderborn Information about the game