FCA looking to reach next round of DFB-Pokal in Greifswald
On Saturday (7th August, 15:30 CEST), FC Augsburg will face Greifswalder FC in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. Head coach Markus Weinzierl and midfielder Jan Morávek are both excitedly looking forward to the game. However, the two agree that it would be wise not to underestimate their fifth-tier opponents.
"The expectations are clear: we want to reach the next round," Weinzierl said about the first-round game against Greifswalder FC. "We did well during pre-season and made the best of the situation. Despite pre-season being interrupted slightly due to the EUROs and the Copa América, the team improved from game to game and we want to continue on like this. We've been able to implement several things in attack that we've worked on in training. We're happy to be back in competitive action now and be competing for a spot in the next round," the 46-year-old said.
Felix Uduokhai and Marco Richter are back to full team training following their return from the Tokyo Olympics and will be able to feature against Greifswald. "Felix and Marco are very important to the team," said Weinzierl. Ruben Vargas (suspended), Daniel Caligiuri (COVID-19), Reece Oxford (being eased back into training), Sergio Córdova (muscle injury) and Tobias Strobl (ankle injury) will all not be able to feature on the weekend.
FC Augsburg's first competitive game of the season will be against a fifth-tier opponent. However, Weinzierl underlined the importance of not underestimating the opponents. "Anything can happen in the DFB-Pokal, which is why we're highly focused. We will prepare ourselves accordingly and take this game very seriously. We played as a team in our final few games of last season, and have a solid foundation," said the coach. "I have a good feeling and full confidence in the lads."
Jan Morávek, who has struggled with injuries in the past, is optimistic when looking back on pre-season. "I'm very happy that I was able to take part in the full pre-season without any issues. On Saturday, we want to play like we did in the friendly against Cagliari Calcio. We want to build on that," the 31-year-old said about the 3-1 victory against Cagliari. However, one thing is also certain: "We cannot underestimate our opponents."
Morávek is an important part of the team for Weinzierl. "Jan is energetic, courageous and a strong player. He is willing to run hard and exemplifies what it means to be FC Augsburg. The team benefit from his character. I know his strengths and I know that he always gives it 100%," Weinzierl praised the midfielder. Morávek also had some complimentary words for his head coach, saying "We're all happy to have him back. Now, it's down to us to bring his philopsophy to the pitch. Our squad has a lot of potential and we want to showcase it."