First home game of 2023
The Bundesliga is continuing its return with a round of midweek games on matchday 17. Head coach Enrico Maaßen had a positive outlook on the season so far as he spoke to the media ahead of the home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach (Wednesday 25th January, 20:30 CET).
“We have an exciting challenge ahead of us, but we’ve shown not only against Dortmund that we can do well against the top sides,” said Maaßen ahead of the game. The 38-year-old sees Gladbach, who lost 3-2 to Leverkusen last time out, as a “very good side with a lot of good individual players and the ability to interchange positions.” The plan is clear for Maaßen and his team. “We want to keep the points in Augsburg.”
Maaßen saw a number of positives in his side’s performance last time out, despite the 4-3 loss away in Dortmund. Arne Engels received particular praise after an impressive club debut in midfield. “Arne played brilliantly. Not only did he settle in well, but he was a key player for us,” said the head coach, who was also very pleased with the other four winter arrivals: Dion Beljo, Irvin Cardona, Kelvin Yeboah and goalscorer David Čolina.
Cardona will not be able to make his second appearance in an FCA shirt on Wednesday evening after being taken off with a knock at half time in the game against Dortmund. Ruben Vargas, who was also forced off in the 12th minute, will also miss about two to three weeks due to a minor tear to the ligament between the tibia and fibula. “We’re a bit lucky there,” said Maaßen, pleased that the injury wasn’t too serious.
Vargas’ replacement could be Mergim Berisha, who is available again after suspension. Niklas Dorsch, who was in the matchday squad for the first time this season for the game against Dortmund, could be in line to make a brief appearance. With Iago and Reece Oxford stepping up their training as they return from injury, Maaßen is optimistic for the future, despite the club’s 15th-place position. “We still have 18 games to play and we’re getting a number of key players back. I have full confidence in my team.”