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Gouweleeuw: “We need to play in front of fans”

Hahn and Gregoritsch test positive ahead of Wolfsburg match

First Team 01.04.2022, 15:18

The first of FCA'S two fixtures over the next few days sees them welcome VfL Wolfsburg to the WWK Arena on Sunday (15:30 CEST). Head coach Markus Weinzierl wants his side to make the next step towards survival, even if they’re going to have to improvise somewhat in attack.

Markus Weinzierl began his press conference by imparting some bad news. With Felix Uduokhai (muscle issue) already ruled out of the match against Wolfsburg, Weinzierl will also be without André Hahn and Michael Gregoritsch as the pair have tested positive for Coronavirus. Ruben Vargas (tonsillitis) is also a doubt for the game.

This injury news is of course tough to take “in a phase of the season which is all or nothing,” - Weinzierl made his remarks surrounding the run-in. “We need to be giving our absolute all and doing so together as a team. We’re in control of our own destiny and still have five home matches left to play, and we need to make best use of them.”

Weinzierl: “We can drag Wolfsburg back into the mix”

Captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw has a fair bit of experience when it comes to relegation dogfights, having played with us at FCA since 2016. “It’s nothing new for us,” commented the defender. “We’ve got enough experienced players who know how to handle things. We’re ready for it.”

Weinzierl also sees his players’ experience as an advantage in the relegation battle. “The team understands the pressure of the situation,” explained the FCA head coach. “We’re often in this section of the table every year and we’ve always been able to withstand the pressure. A home win this weekend would be a huge step towards survival and it would also bring Wolfsburg back into the mix.” FCA are currently on 26 points, just five points behind VfL (31), and the Fuggerstädter also have a game in hand. But, for the time being, a win on Sunday would shorten the gap to two points.

Weinzierl: “We need to get a buzzing atmosphere going in the stands”

“They’ve got good individual quality, and since Max Kruse returned they’ve been very dangerous in attack,” Weinzierl had plenty of praise for the opposition, who lost both of their last two matches before the international break. “We’ll need to be aggressive and not allow them to settle into the game. We have an opportunity to improve our position in the table and give ourselves some breathing room.”

The fans also have a role to play in the upcoming fixture against Wolfsburg. “Above all, we’re very strong when playing at home – we’ve shown that on several occasions and want to do so again on Sunday,” stressed Gouweleeuw. “We need to play in front of fans.” However, Weinzierl adds that it is up to the team to give the fans something to make noise about: “We need to get a buzzing atmosphere going in the stands.”

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André Hahn
Jeffrey Gouweleeuw
Michael Gregoritsch
Ruben Vargas
Markus Weinzierl