FCA will travel to Sinsheim this Saturday to complete their Bundesliga season away at TSG Hoffenheim. “After the performances against Gladbach and Dortmund we can go there with our chests puffed out,” said midfielder Halil Altintop. These expanded chests will be backed by 3,000 travelling supporters.
Altintop is himself, sure: “We need the fans and they know that too. The last home game proved what we can do together.” Hoffenheim are the fourth best side in the league, something Manuel Baum knows only too well. “This will be one of the toughest challenges in the league. They are a very flexible side, who attack well and have a lot of individual quality as well. So we will have to read the game well.” Baum added “We should not let the presseure build up at the back, but instead look to get forward where we can.”
For that exact reason Altintop will play a role in the game. “Halil knows thanks to his experience when to press forward and when to put your foot on the ball and slow things down. He is a very important link between defence and attack.”
Altintop answered the question regarding how exactly Augsburg would arrive in Hoffenheim and how he and his squad would go into the game with one word: „Brave.“ “It is is not a question of nerves,” he continued. “We are very optimistic that we’ll be able to celebrate come 17:20 tomorrow. Baum also confirmed how he had instilled into his team over the past few days the motto of his squad and their town: AUGSBURG HALT ZUSAMENN (Augsburg remains united). It is a motto which sums up the current situation at the club perfectly, and the words have helped bring not just the club but the whole city closer together.
Altintop and Baum are in agreement ahead of Saturday’s clash: „We want to show our own strength. We do not want to rely on anyone else. The game between Hamburg and Wolfsburg is completely separate to our match.”
Another positive trend is the consistency, which has occured not just in the recent performances but also the starting XI. As well as Jan Moravek and Ja-Cheol Koo only the inclusion of regular goalkeeper Marwin Hitz is in doubt. The Swiss has returned to training, but is likely to not be rushed back. “We have to take things day by day with Marwin,” explained Baum. Outfield the boss sees no reason to switch around his team for the previous few games.