FC Augsburg have picked up two important points in their last two games, with draws against Bayern Munich (2-2) and VFL Wolfsburg (0-0). Up next for FCA is another team in the top half of the table, as Schalke 04 travel to the WWK Arena on Sunday 3rd November. Head coach Martin Schmidt is looking to cause another upset in their match against The Royal Blues.
Martin Schmidt has been caught in two minds lately. Despite two strong performances against Bayern and Wolfsburg, FCA have slipped into the relegation zone due to results of the teams around them in the table. “It’s important not to get carried away,” Schmidt says about the situation. FCA are currently level on points with Düsseldorf, Union and Köln, leaving them in 17th place in the table. “Our position in the table isn’t great, but we’re feeling very optimistic as we’ve taken two great results against two strong opponents.”
Schmidt believes his team is on the right track and the 52-year-old is particularly pleased about keeping a clean sheet against Wolfsburg. “It’s an important part of our development as a team and we’ve taken another step in the right direction,” he emphasises. FCA’s head coach doesn’t want to pay too much attention to the teams around them in the table. “What they do is out of our control,” says Schmidt. “We’re just concentrating on ourselves, and then hopefully we’ll start to rise up the table over the next few weeks.”
FC Schalke 04 are the next top team to come to the WWK ARENA. Schalke had a disappointing preseason, but have started the Bundesliga season well and are mixing it up at the top of the table. Schmidt wants to “deliver a top performance in front of the home crowd” against Schalke, as the outsiders look to cause another upset. He is expecting “an intense and physical game and for Schalke to adopt a direct approach up top. It will be a challenge for us. After both of the games just gone, the players’ heads are up. The last two games have clearly given us confidence”, said the Swiss. “Now we want to work to get a win on Sunday.”
The instructions for the Schalke match are clear. “After two draws, we need a win. For that we need goals, and that is how we will approach this game”, Schmidt confirmed. The FCA head coach can now call upon Carlos Gruezo and Marek Suchý. Schmidt knows that there are a few necessary ingredients if his team are to cause the next upset. “We need a top performance and to have a good mentality. We have to eliminate mistakes from our game”, he explained. “Defensively, we have to be resilient. If we give it our all, I am convinced that we can begin to talk about winning.”
With a win, Augsburg could begin to resurrect their poor record against Schalke. FCA have only won once in 16 meetings with the Royal Blues (seven draws, eight defeats).