Daniel Baier is an institution at FC Augsburg. He’s been wearing FCA colours for ten years now, racking up 288 appearances for the club. We had a chat with the club captain ahead of match number 289, against TSG Hoffenheim.
It’s quite cold outside at the moment. How do you train without freezing?
That’s true, the temperatures are quite extreme at the moment and there are certainly better times of the year to be outside training. But once you’re on the pitch, it’s not so bad.
The game against Dortmund was the second match in Bundesliga history in the new Monday-night slot. There were just 54,000 spectators instead of the usual 80,000 at the Signal-Iduna-Park. There were huge protests in Frankfurt the week before too. Do you think the situation will eventually settle?
I hope so, because full stadiums and the supporters are two of the Bundesliga’s best assets and they’re the things we’re known for. It felt a bit like a friendly in Dortmund last week. It’s a shame for us players too of course and I hope that things will go back to normal. You have to find a compromise when it comes to the fans and I’m confident that a solution will be found.
You missed the match through suspension. It must be a weird feeling for you as a regular to merely watch on, no?
It was unusual, but missing a game isn’t all that weird – it’s part and parcel of professional football. But when you’re watching on, you get more emotional than when you’re out there on the pitch. We put in a superb away performance I thought; we were right in the match the whole time and looked to get forward with some good football.
It was a precious point after the defeats to Leipzig and Stuttgart.
Yes, we all knew how important it was to come away with that point, but I think that some people went overboard with their concerns after the two defeats. Losing two games back-to-back is a long way from a crisis. So I’m even happier that we were able to come away from a very difficult match with a result.
There are just ten more Bundesliga games left now. Are you still looking down the table?
I would be lying if I said that wasn’t the case. I know exactly how many points we are away from the sides below and above us, but I don’t attach too much importance to it. It may sound like a cliché, but the focus is only ever on the next game. There’s no benefit in any other approach.