After a 1-1 draw against Köln last time out, FC Augsburg are heading into another double-header week. They will kick things off away against 1. FSV Mainz 05 (14th June, 15:30 CEST). FCA will be looking to pull away from Sunday’s opponents in the standings by picking up an important three points along the way.
Prior to the match against Mainz, FCA head coach Heiko Herrlich is focused on what’s ahead. The frustration following the match against Köln has passed. “We’ve analysed and rehashed everything from our last match. We’re focused on what’s to come and are fully focused on our upcoming match in Mainz. We’ve played well in most of our recent matches, showing moral along the way and were able to fight our way back against Köln. We need to build on these performances,” he said.
An important game in Mainz
Herrlich also spoke about the importance of Sunday’s match in Mainz. “We can take an important step in the right direction against Mainz,” the head coach said. “We are taking plenty of self-confidence with us to Mainz and really want to take home three points. We could have taken more from our last few games. Despite playing well, our efforts weren’t fully rewarded. We need to gather momentum from our remaining games and be efficient against a confident Mainz side.”
Herrlich: “I’m expecting an evenly-matched game”
The head coach is expecting an evenly-matched game against the Zerofivers. “They will be extremely aggressive, and will be looking to enter into challenges,” said Herrlich. “We will need to take them on while also playing our game. Overall, however, I believe we have good chances of meeting this challenge.” FCA will be able to take some courage from their recent results against the Zerofivers, having won four of their last five Bundesliga games against Mainz.
FCA won the reverse fixture by two goals to one, to which Florian Niederlechner contributed by getting himself a goal. In spite of a run of games without scoring, and a missed penalty last time out, Augsburg's head coach remained full of encouragement for the forward. "Florian was great in the first half of the season. Even though he's going through a little dry spell at the moment, he's been creating lots of good goalscoring chances and is working hard for the team. I'm sure he'll get back on the scoresheet, it's just a matter of time." Along with Niederlechner, Alfred Finnbogason is also an option to start up top for Augsburg. Herrlich also heaped praise upon youngster Noah Sarenren Bazee: "Noah has had some good moments in every game he's played. He's a really dangerous player going forward and works hard in defence. Though there's still room for improvement, of course." After recovering from tonsillitis, captain Dani Baier might also feature against Mainz.
Herrlich: "We need only to be concerned with ourselves"
Ahead of our trip to the Rhine, Herrlich called upon his team to focus on their own work. "We only need to be concerned with ourselves and put in our best performance. We're concentrating on what we're doing, and not other teams."