Hannover 96: New defender? Stefan Leitl pressures Luka Krajnc – 2nd Bundesliga

After the 3-0 win over FC Groningen, Stefan Leitl (44) gave his boys a Sunday off. The snaps for the start of the second division in Kaiserslautern (Friday, 8:30 p.m.) begin on Monday afternoon.

“A lot of things work,” praised Leitl, who was undefeated with 96 in seven friendlies. “We went through the preparation very well without major injuries. But unfortunately with a momentous…

Luka Krajnc (27) missed almost all of pre-season and was also absent against Groningen. After all, after breaking a toe, the central defender trained with the team for the first time before the weekend and should be fully engaged again from Monday.

Leitl puts pressure on Krajnc’s fitness

“It is important that he gets fit quickly and take advantage of the week to be available for us”, emphasizes the coach. “Luka has to go out on the pitch and train, that’s important. He missed the first four days, then he played two games almost without training and he’s out since Duisburg. We need load control on the pitch so he can help us.”

With new signing Phil Neumann, vice-captain Julian Börner and Krajnc, as well as talents Tim Walbrecht and Yannik Lührs, the 96 is “generally well positioned” in central defence. Leitl is very worried because Krajnc and Walbrecht (ankle problems) are injured and had to go through against Groningen.

The coach: “Currently we have a situation that is not ideal because Luka was almost completely absent in the preparation.”

Will 96 bring another new defender?

Leitl admits he is thinking of a replacement: “I have no desire, he has to fit in. For me it is important that players come who really want to go to Hannover and bring the quality that makes us better. If we find a suitable player who also wants that , then we will definitely do something else. But that is a basic requirement for a player to really want to come here and develop more, which is what he wants to achieve.”

A new central defender is not the top priority.

“You can’t double or triple protect yourself against everything,” emphasizes sports director Marcus Mann. Internally, Krajnc is supposed to quickly get back into shape despite missed preparation and can quickly start the fight for a regular spot. Walbrecht’s planned loan was put on hold for the time being.


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