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Fortune favoring brave Hannover after January moves

Big clubs rarely like to shake things up over the winter break, unless absolutely necessary. Those below them, however, often eye it as a chance to refresh. Such moves can backfire, but can also prove just the tonic.

And while one can still count the days on two hands since the European transfer window shut for business, it appears the moves made by Hannover could be the right kind.

The Reds have had a see-sawing sort of season - for every highlight, there has been an accompanying lowlight. Hannover won three of their first six league matches of the season, but lost the other three. They then went winless in seven, with victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in early December not enough

to save the job of Mirko Slomka. The appointment of Tayfun Korkut as head coach

loomed as a risk for Hannover. With the club's Bundesliga status potentially at stake, it seemed a gamble for Hannover to reject the likes of Giovanni Trapattoni and turn instead to the inexperienced Turk.

So far, so good. Korkut has guided his new club to two impressive wins from two matches, against a pair of clubs dreaming of European football in Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The manner in which they accomplished the latter result was particularly commendable. Mönchengladbach possess some of the canniest attacking talents in the Bundesliga in Max Kruse, Juan Arango, Raffael and Patrick Herrmann, but Hannover stifled them into submission and possessed enough threats of their own to win 3-1.

Szabolcs Huszti and Artjoms Rudnevs. (Photo via Getty)

Rudnevs has rediscovered his scoring form since joining Hannover.

The man that put Hannover in the lead in Saturday's win over the Foals was Artjoms Rudnevs, who was shipped to the club on loan after losing his way at Hamburg. It was the second straight week he had done so for his new team.

If it is easy to imagine the groans both Hamburg head coach Bert van Marwijk and predecessor Thorsten Fink let out when Rudnevs scored against Wolfsburg, then picturing them with head in hands after the opener against Mönchengladbach is not out of the question.

Rudnevs might not be the fleetest of foot, but his dogged willingness to chase and harass down even the blindest of alleys could make him the perfect partner for Mame Diouf, who scored the other two goals in Saturday's win.

Thomas Schneider. (Photo via AFP)

Thomas Schneider knows that Honeymoons can end

It looms as a bright bit of business for Hannover, as does their other January loan capture, Frantisek Rajtoral. Yes, the Czech Republic international is just one match into his Hannover stint. But with captain and stalwart full back Steve Cherundolo's constant injury problems, Rajtoral - also capable of playing in midfield - appears a smart signing.

Hannover's two victories to start the "Rückrunde" have elevated them to 10th on the table - somehow now closer to Europa League qualification than relegation. With much football to play, Hannover's winning run could prove merely a honeymoon period under new management, akin to struggling Stuttgart's seven games without defeat in the Bundesliga immediately after former Under 17s coach Thomas Schneider took the reins of the senior squad. Now, Stuttgart have lost seven of their last 10.

Still, if fortune does indeed favor the brave, Hannover could have given their season exactly what it needed.

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