After the last-minute home defeat against VfL Wolfsburg (2-1), FCA head coach Heiko Herrlich is looking ahead. In the game against Schalke on Sunday, 24th May (15:30 CEST), he hopes to pick up Augsburg’s first away points of the Rückrunde.
Last week’s home game behind closed doors was a strange experience for coach Heiko Herrlich. It was impossible to compare the game to other normal games, the Augsburg head coach observed. “We miss our fans. Everyone who knows Augsburg knows how important the fans are. But we have to learn to deal with the current situation. Nobody knows how long the whole thing will go on for.”
In terms of tactics, the game against Wolfsburg has been well analysed. “We can build on that last match,” emphasises Herrlich, drawing attention to FCA’s grip and aggression in the second half of the match against the Wolves. “Of course there is room for improvement in all areas, but with some luck we have a chance of getting all three points in Gelsenkirchen.” Beyond that, one should not underestimate the current situation and should also pick up some points in the coming matches, continued Herrlich.
Schalke without a win in eight games
The Royal Blues have now not won a match in their last eight. Their last win came at the start of the Rückrunde against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Since then, there have been a few draws and also notable losses to Cologne, Leipzig, Bayern and Dortmund. Thanks to a strong performance in the Hinrunde, Schalke currently sit in eighth place in the table and still harbour ambitions of reaching the Europa League qualifying places.
Herrlich warns of “difficult opponents”
Schalke represent a difficult opponent for FCA, as in terms of past matchups, Augsburg have rarely had a moment to savour. Out of all 17 times the teams have met in the Bundesliga, Augsburg have won just 1, while the teams have drawn 7 times. “Schalke played very well in the Hinrunde and started off the Rückrunde well. However they are on a losing streak at the moment. After their Revierderby loss to Dortmund, Schalke will be fired up, and will want to get points,” Herrlich warned about the upcoming opponents.
FCA will be forced to do without striker Alfred Finnbogason. The Iceland international is currently still in advanced training. Also the return of defender Jeffrey Gourweleeuw is doubtful. Florian Niederlechner is, however, set for the match. “We hope that Flo can build on his performance from the Hinrunde, and we will do everything we can do to support him,” said Heiko Herrlich. Augsburg’s team seem to be in good mental shape too. “The team knows about the current situation, as well as the dangerous position we find ourselves in. Now we need a winning mindset to survive the drop and stay in the division. We have to work on our positive feelings and make sure our performances stay at 100%. It is important to do everything we can to make sure Schalke don’t find their form against us,” said the 48-year old.