Time flies in the Bundesliga: Three days after a disappointing 1-1 draw against Hertha BSC, FC Augsburg have a midweek meeting with FC Schalke 04 on the cards. The missed opportunity to win at home is no longer on the minds of Manuel Baum and Philipp Max as they get ready to make the trip to Gelsenkirchen.
“It was obviously frustrating,” said FCA coach Manuel Baum after the bitter 1-1 draw against Hertha, who managed to equalise in added time to escape with a point. There is no time for anyone to hang their heads, however – third placed Schalke are waiting.
Philipp Max had also “completely forgotten” about Sunday’s disappointment by the following day. The left back’s focus is now fully turned to the clash with the Royal Blues. “We’ve had a sensational campaign to date and we want to keep it going,” said the 24-year-old – “We want to put Schalke under pressure and come away with something.” For Max himself, this is a particularly special game, as the defender wore the Schalke shirt for four years earlier in his career. “It’s always special to play in that stadium,” he said.
Schalke are riding a ten-game unbeaten streak
Max followed the Royal Blues’ most recent clash with Gladbach, and has come away from that experience expecting a “very strong opponent” on Wednesday night. Domenico Tedesco’s side are unbeaten in their last ten competitive games, including five victories. “We won’t back down from the challenge,” said Philipp Max. “That’s what we need to do to come away with something from the game.” FCA will have to do without Jan Moravek, Kostas Stafylidis and Erik Thommy though, who will miss the game due to illnesses and an ankle injury respectively.
Philipp Max has been one of Augsburg’s top performers so far this season, which has not gone unnoticed by Baum. “You can see how much he’s enjoying his football at the moment – it’s translating to his performances on the pitch week in week out,” praised the FCA coach. With eight assists to his name already, FCA’s number 31 leads the Bundesliga in that category. “The team has come along really well as a whole, and every single player has got better,” said Max modestly.
Manuel Baum is really happy with his team’s development too, as he himself is nearing his one year anniversary as FCA coach. “It’s important that we keep on developing as a team and individually as well,” said Baum. Philipp Max also knows that his side cannot rest on their laurels: “Our current position in the table doesn’t count for anything – what really matters is where we’re at once we’ve played all 34 games.”