After two consecutive losses, FC Augsburg are faced with a trip to Borussia Dortmund on Monday 26th February at 20:30. “They have to feel like we want to win more than them,” demands Manuel Baum. The player to captain the side, however, is yet to be decided.
After Daniel Baier collected his fifth yellow card of the season against VfB Stuttgart last week, FCA will be without their usual captain for the game on Monday. And with Jeffrey Gouweleeuw and Alfred Finnbogason already sidelined, it is still unclear who will lead the side out against BVB. Manuel Baum has yet to make the decision himself: “We have several players who are able to take on the role,” he says.
Martin Hinteregger doesn’t care who leads his team out on Monday evening. The central defender, who has been at the club for one and a half years now, made his 50th Bundesliga appearance for Augsburg against Stuttgart last week. There was no reason for the Austrian to celebrate this milestone though. After losses to both Leipzig and now Stuttgart, Hinteregger demands a reaction. “We didn’t play the Augsburg way in the last two games,” he says. “We have to rediscover our previous form.”
FCA will be looking to get back to basics against Dortmund. “Whichever team wants it more will win,” predicts Hinteregger. His manager agrees: “We need to be aggressive and execute our counter-attacking opportunities well.” It will be difficult against a Peter Stöger led side that is still undefeated under their new manager (five wins, three draws), and has just progressed to the next round of the Europa League in midweek after triumphing over Atalanta.
Baum: “We have to make it seem like we’ve got more than ten players on the pitch”
Particularly threatening is newcomer Michy Batshuayi, who has score five times in the five games that he has been at the club for. “I don’t know how you pronounce his name,” says Hinteregger with a wink, “but he’s proved how much quality he has.” And with Marco Reus coming back after a long spell on the sidelines, BVB have yet another dangerous forward to call upon. “The ease with which he moves on the pitch, the decisions he makes – it’s outstanding,” says Manuel Baum. “He makes them a completely different team.”
Despite the individual quality that this week’s opponents clearly possess, FCA are still expecting to have their fair share of chances. “They have to feel like we want to win more than them,” demands the FCA coach. “We have to make it seem like we’ve got more than ten players on the pitch.”