Leo Ostigard can’t wait to meet Coventry City’s fans.
The summer loan signing from Brighton had a “special” relationship with the supporters at St Pauli during a season-long spell in the German Bundesliga 2, so much so that he says he plans to return to the club later in his career.
And he hopes that once the Sky Blue Army are allowed back he will spark up a similar bond.
“I don’t like empty stadiums,” said the 20-year-old Norwegian, who has made a promising start to his City career.
“It’s not a good feeling. I play better when I have the fans there.
“You need the fans to be on the top level so hopefully we can get them back as soon as possible and that will provide a different feeling.”
He added: “Last year in Germany we had great fans and you feel something special when you play.
“I had a very special relationship with the fans there. I like to play big games with the most fans possible.
“We had some games where there were 60,000 fans away from home, like when we went to Hamburg in our derby game.
“I like to play in the pressure with the fans there so now is a little bit of a weird feeling.”
Asked what it was about his game that made him one of St Pauli’s favourites, he said: “The main thing was that I showed a lot of passion, and when I score I always celebrate a lot.
“My first home game was in the derby against Hamburg and we won 2-0 and it was a special start for me.”
The Hamburg derby is one of the fiercest rivalries in German football and the early season fixture in September last year did not disappoint as fans put on a show, letting off pyrotechnics causing the start of the second half to be delayed.
St Pauli earned their first home victory for 59 years in the fixture at Millerntor-Stadion – a victory that also denied Hamburg the chance to return to the top of the league.
“I still love the fans there and it’s a special club for me,” said Ostigard, “so much so I think it’s not the last time that I will play for them in my career.
“That was just a feeling that they love me and I love them.
“But now I am here I want the Coventry fans back so I can show the same.”
So have his new teammates told him anything about the Coventry fans?
“The lads have told me a little bit about how good the fans are here and hopefully I can show them what I can do soon.
“As a new player you need a little bit of time but hopefully I can show more things than I am doing now.”
Ostigard has already shown that he’s a goal threat, going close on a number of occasions when he’s gone up for set pieces, none closer than when he smashed the underside of the crossbar at Barnsley with a powerful header from a brilliant Gust Hamer delivery.
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“It was a big chance and we had some good crosses from Gus and I am just happy that we are creating chances,” he said.
“But of course I want to score from these chances, so it’s not good enough.
“It was a good header from me but I need to score chances like that. I hit the ball quite good but sometimes it happens like that. So I have to keep going and try to score my first goal.
“We have a good set up from corners which we work on in training and we will score goals, that’s for sure.
“We just need to be better on the ball and improve with every game.”
Although not the biggest centre-half, Ostigard has a terrific spring.
“I have always scored a lot of goals,” said the defender, who is currently away on international duty with his country.
“I am not the tallest guy but I work a lot on it in training, and my father was playing football when he was young and he scored a lot of goals. So I learned a lot from him.
“He was a defender like me and played for a team in my home town and was in one of the highest leagues in Norway at the time despite being a very small town, just 2,000 people.
“He was the best at headers so I learned a lot from him. He was just 180 centimetres, a little bit shorter than me.”
As for how he feels he and his new club have settled to life in the Championship, he said: “We can play better but it’s a new league.
“It’s a new team for me and I have to get used to everything.
“It’s a solid start for a team that went up but I feel we can be better.
“It’s a really good club and we play some really nice football. We have a plan and you can see that when you watch us.
“It’s a league I always dreamed to play in. It’s a hard league and you play hard teams every week but I am learning every day and hopefully we have a good season.”
Having started all four of City’s opening league games, it remains to be seen whether fit again Michael Rose will return in his place against Brentford this weekend.
“He’s a good player,” said Ostigard, who was substituted at half-time against Bournemouth last time out after picking up a yellow card, allowing Rose back in.
“I am a new player here and it’s competition for places every time and we are four or five defenders who are really good.
“There are many games in this league so you need players.
“You need to play well, of course, and I am not at my top level yet.”