After a fourth consecutive game without a win, FCA are looking to change their fortunes on the weekend. Augsburg will travel to Bremen on Sunday 29th October, and head coach Manuel Baum warns not to underestimate the winless Green-Whites.
Despite suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Hannover 96, Baum says that the team is still in good spirits. “We have a clear aim for this season, and we know that it’s a long and arduous journey to stay in the top flight,” explains the 38-year-old. “We’re on the right track.” However, FCA’s focus is now fully on Sunday’s clash in Bremen. “The next game is always the most difficult,” says Baum. Werder are still waiting for their first league victory in this campaign, and with a mere five points currently occupy 17th place. Despite that, Baum is still well aware that they’re a team that is full of quality. “You’ve got to look at the way they’ve played separately from the points they’ve earned. The league standings are so tightly packed at the moment so we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.” Midfielder Jonathan Schmid is expecting an opponent with their backs to the wall on Sunday: “They’re under pressure and have to get points.” Werder did get a bit of a confidence boost in midweek though, after they beat TSG Hoffenheim 1-0 in the second round of the DFB-Pokal. “When they have a bit of momentum their quality is clear to see,” warns Baum. “They could have a lot more points than they do, but a lot of things just haven’t gone their way so far this season.
Schmid: “Kruse is a class player”
Their fortunes could be starting to change though as attacker Max Kruse, who has been out for a few weeks due to a broken collarbone, may be making their return to the matchday squad. “He’s a class player,” praises Schmid, who has played with Kruse in the past with Freiburg. “He’s a very smart player and he makes a lot of good runs. He can decide games by himself, but it’s important for us to not just focus on one player.”
Instead, their focus is fully on their own game. ”We must be disciplined and play with energy,” said Schmid ahead of Sunday’s match. The 27-year-old has featured in the starting eleven four times this season, and has made numerous appearances on the bench. Despite this, the Frenchman puts the team before himself. “It’s difficult for any footballer when you’re not out there playing,” he says. “The coach has makes the final decision at the end of the day. You have to accept whatever he says and give your all in training.”