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Schmidt: “Smaller squad makes us want to win even more”
The 2018/19 Bundesliga is drawing to a close. Martin Schmidt and his FC Augsburg side conclude the season away against VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday (15:30 CEST). Schmidt wants his side to end the season on a high by taking points off the Wolves, who are looking to secure a Europa League place.
In the final home match of the season, as has been the case in multiple matches in the WWK ARENA this season, FC Augsburg were left empty handed after a solid performance. Martin Schmidt described the 4-3 home defeat against Hertha BSC as a “stirring tie. A head coach despairs when their team concedes four goals from set pieces. Even if the fans think differently, I would’ve preferred a goalless draw similarly to the point we secured against Schalke compared with the last-gasp defeat against Hertha. I’d rather secure a point then lose it due to a set piece.” Schmidt’s side will look to secure a more positive result in Wolfsburg to close the season. However, the Swiss head coach knows that the task at hand won’t be easy against his former club. “Wolfsburg are an incredible and technically gifted team. They are also one of the most dangerous teams in the Bundesliga regarding counter attacks, quickly winning the ball and turning defence into attack. However, they also naturally have weaknesses which we can use to our advantage.” FCA want to create their chances through open spaces as Wolfsburg sit back and retreat.
Smaller squad travelling to Wolfsburg
Ja-Cheol Koo and Philipp Max will both miss FCA’s final match of the season. Max suffered a concussion whilst attempting to avoid a handball during last week’s defeat to Hertha. Following this incident, Schmidt expressed his personal feeling on the handball discussion for the first time. “Personally, I think provisions for handball situations are currently reaching a new level. A protective stance has to be allowed. If I was in that situation, I would naturally want to protect my face. How far can we go to call a handball a foul if it dangers the health of our players at the same time?” Despite the smaller travelling squad size due to injury, both the coach and team are highly motivated to bring a positive result back to Augsburg on Saturday. Schmidt is only focusing on FCA’s final match of the season as the visitors look to finish in the league position possible against the Wolves. “We will be taking a smaller squad to Wolfsburg. However, this makes us want to win even more. We want to secure points. We want to take this mentality to Wolfsburg.”
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