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Jess Thorup auf der PK vor dem Spiel bei Union Berlin

Thorup: “Have to be prepared from the get-go”

Away fixture on matchday 12 against Union Berlin

First Team 23.11.2023, 14:23

FC Augsburg will travel to 1. FC Union Berlin on Saturday afternoon (15:30 CET). Head coach Jess Thorup aims to continue his unbeaten run and bring some points home from the capital, ideally all three.

No one was sat with their feet up at the WWK ARENA during the international break. In fact, quite the opposite: head coach Jess Thorup used the time off to analyse the past few league games. “We needed this week to improve on every aspect of our game,” explained the 53-year-old. Since joining the club, Thorup has overseen a clear improvement in the team’s performance both in and out of possession, as well as in their challenge success rate. Nevertheless, the head coach is not willing to rest on his laurels following the recent wins. “There are many things that we can improve on. Our desire to win always has to be present,” the Dane emphasised. One major target still remains, which is to come away with a clean sheet for the first time this season.”

Only Arne Maier and Masaya Okugawa will be absent from the squad due to prolonged injury spells. A serious injury was ruled out during the week for the Japanese midfielder, who had to be brought off around 20 minutes into the 5-2 friendly win over SSV Jahn Regensburg. “For Arne, it will take another couple of weeks, but he’s already got his boots on and is back on the training pitch,” shared Thorup.

Union are inspiration to smaller clubs

Union Berlin are currently sat at the bottom of the table with only six points. At the weekend, FCA will face a team who, prior to the season, were capable of qualifying for the Champions League, but have now gone 14 competitive fixtures in a row without a single win. However, Thorup is not reading too much into their poor results. “Union are an inspiration to every smaller club. Although they might be experiencing problems now, what Union have displayed over the past few years is exceptional.” Following the departure of Urs Fischer, the Berlin side is currently being coached by Marco Grote and his assistant Marie Louisa Eta on an interim basis.

Around 2,200 FCA fans will make the journey to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Saturday. Thorup is expecting a “real battle”, and urges that: “We have to be prepared from the get-go to fight for every ball. Hopefully we give enough to bring home the three points. That’s our goal!”

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