Vargas misses out against Union
“I can never get used to losing,” said Heiko Herrlich at his press conference ahead of the meeting with Union, a match which kicks off the second half of the season. The match against Bayern was Augsburg’s third defeat in a row. “You have to differentiate between performances and results,” explains Herrlich. “The performance in the second half was good and we want to replicate that, then we can take the points that we need.”
After Köln won in midweek (2-1 vs. Schalke), there is now only a four point gap to the relegation play-off place at 16th in the table. “We can sense that the others are on the rise. We can’t argue with that,” said Herrlich, who doesn’t want to concern himself with other teams. “It’s important that we focus on ourselves so that we can give it all we’ve got to turn the corner. It’s in our own hands.”
This Saturday’s visitors are Union, this season’s surprise package. The Eisernen are mixing it at the top of the table at the halfway point of the season having ended the Hinrunde in sixth place. “The team are springing a few surprises right now, they play with real heart,” said Herrlich. “It’s been impressive to see how they have developed and which teams they have caused problems for.”
Union have only lost three of their 17 league matches this season. One of those defeats came in the season opener against Augsburg (3-1). “It’s something quite special to have beaten a team that has only lost three times,” says Herrlich. “That has to give us self-belief and the courage to summon a performance like we did in the Hinrunde.”
Ruben Vargas struck the opener in that match at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, but he will have to watch on from the sidelines this weekend. The Swiss, who also scored his first Bundesliga goal against Union, picked up a knock in the second half against Bayern and will miss at least this weekend’s match.
Even without Vargas, Herrlich is demanding the same commitment that his team showed against Bayern last time out. “One or two of them are angry that we didn’t take anything from the game, that’s for sure,” said the FCA head coach. “If we are prepared to put in the same amount of effort again then I am positive that we can take the three points.”