FCA are looking to pick up points in Stuttgart
FC Augsburg travel to Baden-Württemberg on Friday night to face VfB Stuttgart (20:30 CEST). Coach Markus Weinzierl has made good use of the week of training with intensive sessions for the team in order to ready his team for the Bundesliga clash. He is aware that the match will not be an easy one, but Weinzierl is convinced that FCA have what it takes to pick up points on the road.
“It’s a setback for us,” admitted Markus Weinzierl as he discussed the injury to defender Felix Uduokhai, who will miss the last three matches of the season due to an ankle operation. In spite of this injury blow, FCA’s coach is staying positive: “We have a good squad and we have a lot of individual quality. I hold all of the boys here in high regard. We have a lot of squad depth and we’ll make the best of it.”
The 46-year-old has used the last week to work intensively with the team. As he discussed the atmosphere in the dressing room, Weinzierl praised the attitude of his players: “We’ve spoken about which areas of ours are strengths and what the team wants to and can still achieve this season. The boys are very committed and look motivated in training.” Weinzierl has been following the progress of FCA and the players over the past few months, and it is a priority for him to build on the strengths of his first period in charge of Augsburg. “The team has not always been at 100% on the pitch in recent weeks, but now we want to build on the positives.”
Speaking ahead of Friday night’s game, Weinzierl needs no reminding of the qualities of Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side. “VfB have had a strong season and have some very good young players. They have matured a lot in recent months and have developed well. They play good football that places a lot of priority on pace and speed.” For Weinzierl, it will be especially important to take firm control of the game and to be committed in every duel. “It won’t be an easy game by any means, so we’ll need to bring our best performance on Friday to tip the game in our favour. It’s all about fighting hard. If we can do that, we can pick up points.”
As the season nears its conclusion with just three games remaining, full focus is on the game against VfB. “We have to stick together and concentrate on getting the basics right. We’re focused, motivated, and up for the task at hand,” emphasised the 46-year-old. “Everyone is aware of the table and knows that they need to give everything on Friday. Our overall goal is to secure survival as quickly as possible and I’m confident that we can achieve that.” The team’s performance in training has further bolstered this belief: “I’ve had fun so far and we’re improving together. I'm looking forward to the game and hope that the players are too.”