1.FCN are well and truly back into the Bundesliga, and what will likely be a dogfight for survival.

1.FCNUK were in the Max Morlock Stadion on Saturday for the first Nuremberg home game of the campaign as FCN hosted Mainz 05.

The first half seemed to confirm the struggles facing Der Club over the coming months. A lack of chances, outplayed in midfield and playing too deep saw the hosts ultimately go into the halftime break 1-0 down.

Not that there was a lack of effort from the players or lack of passion from the 37,781 crowd. The atmosphere from the Nordkurve was electric and the fans will play a huge role as the twelfth man this season.

For anyone wondering how FCN would get back into this game, the response was plain to see as soon as the second half got underway. The passion of the fans appeared to have transferred to the team in the dressing room team talk. Immediately there was a higher line, a greater intensity and a turbo charger in the skill and vision of new signing Yuya Kubo, who now moved to a more central position and dictated the midfield throughout the second half.

Of course, the decisive finish of Mikael Ishak for the equaliser in the 48 minute settled any nerves but Mainz never looked in the game after the break. The only surprise (and only down to misfortune and a couple of great saves) was that Nuremberg were unable to add to their tally.

Mikael Ishak … two goals in the cup and now off the mark in the league

It was however very encouraging. It’s early days yet, but Kubo looks a class act and could well provide the creative influence needed in an attacking midfield role. With Sebastian Kerk making his way back to fitness, and two new signings on the final day of the transfer window (Dutch forward Virgil Misidjan from Ludogrets, and Brazilian winger Matheus Pereira from Sporting Lisbon) it could be that a squad with an already immense team spirit now also has a greater strength in depth for what lies ahead. A point in the bag and an overall performance worthy of 3 points, will have most Glubb fans will feeling optimistic that this team has what it takes to survive.

1.FCNUK will, of course, cheer on from England via TV and the internet, and we’ll be back in the Max Morlock Stadion soon.

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