Karazor: "We're focusing on our own game"

Friday evening will be an emotional affair. Prior to the derby against VfB Stuttgart (Friday at 20:30 CET / Live Ticker at, we spoke to Stuttgart's Atakan Karazor. In the interview, the 25-year-old defensive midfielder discussed VfB's dip in form, TSG's strengths and the meeting between the teams earlier this season.

Atakan, you were unlucky to concede a stoppage-time equaliser against VfL Bochum at the weekend. How have you handled the setback?

"Overall, we produced a good performance against Bochum. We continued to look stable and would have most probably kept the three points at home had we scored a second goal. It was extremely bitter to concede that goal in the final minute but it hasn't knocked us off course."

You're in an automatic relegation spot with two-thirds of the season played. How confident are you that you'll manage to stay up?

"It's a matter of turning the tables. We were close against Bochum. I'm confident we'll get the results that will keep us in the division."

TSG, meanwhile, will head into this game on the back of two wins. What kind of opponent are you expecting?

"I'm expecting a strong opponent. Hoffenheim have often shown their class this season. TSG have also had phases where things didn't go optimally and yet they are still in fifth place."

Hoffenheim have the fifth-best attack in the league. What will you need to pay special attention to on Friday?

"There are many teams in the Bundesliga that are dangerous going forward. We'll prepare as we always do and analyse the strengths of the opponent, but above all we'll focus on our own game."

You won the reverse fixture by a 3-1 scoreline. What proved to be the difference that day?

"We only gave away a few chances that day and scored at the right time. As far as I'm concerned, more of the same would be welcome."

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