Maier available for selection for Freiburg clash
Following the narrow 2-0 defeat away at Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Augsburg will look to the weekend and their home fixture against SC Freiburg for some points. Assistant coach Reiner Maurer appeared optimistic ahead of the game and wants to improve on the performance the team showed in their last home clash, a win against Union Berlin.
After head coach Markus Weinzierl tested positive for Covid-19, the team will be led in the dugout by assistant coaches Reiner Maurer, Jonas Scheuermann and Tobias Zellner. “We’ve got a great coaching staff for just this eventuality and we’re well prepared,” assured Maurer.
As preparations for the game against Christian Streich’s side continue, “there have been a lot of close discussions with Markus Weinzierl about both the opponents and our own team,” explained Maurer. “We know what we’ll be doing on Saturday from those discussions,” he added.
In terms of personnel, FCA will once again be without defender Robert Gumny, who is still struggling with a ligament tear. Alongside him, Frederik Winther will be unavailable as he has tested positive for Covid-19 and is in quarantine. On the other hand, Arne Maier has tested negative, so has left quarantine and undergone a medical check-up so that he can feature in the game against Freiburg. “We aren’t sure if he’ll be able to make the starting XI, but we’ll watch how he does in training and then make a decision on whether he starts the game or comes on as a substitute,” explained Maurer.
In Maurer’s eyes, the week of training has gone well: “The performances in training were good, everything went well. Even Markus’ absence hasn’t had that much of an impact – everyone got stuck in.”
Looking forward to Saturday afternoon, Maurer made note of some parallels between Freiburg and the last side to visit the WWK-Arena, Union Berlin. “We need to replicate the performance that we put in against Union, because we need the three points more than Freiburg,” said Maurer, adding: “Our home fans need to feel that we want the points; we want to excite them and recreate the atmosphere from the Union game, if not top it.”
Nevertheless, Freiburg still have a lot of quality. “They’re currently sixth in the league and are one of four teams to have a positive goal difference away from home,” said Maurer. “I’m expecting an open game defined by tackles. Freiburg are a very man-to-man kind of team, which is exactly what we’re good at,” underlined Maurer. The assistant coach has a clear mission for Saturday: “Our aim is the three points.”
For Maurer, the game is all about taking the positive aspects from last weekend’s game in Gladbach forward to this match. “We actually played pretty well last time, so it was unfortunate that we failed to take our chances. We tried to get a point out of the game for the full 90 minutes,” he said.
In general, FCA are in a better position than they were before the season started. “We were never able to fall back on our entire squad when we were preparing for the game, but now we have Felix Uduokhai, Fredrik Jensen and Alfred Finnbogason returning to offer us completely new options”, said Maurer, looking optimistic.
“The bottom line is that points win prizes, and if we win every other game we’ll collect 18 points. That’ll put us on 40 which will definitely get us over the line,” Maurer concluded, hoping for a positive final third of the season.