It has been a, largely, fantastic Europa League campaign to date. Whoever faces you in the round will do so with the fear of God within them.
Huge victory to send you through. A potential dark-horse to win the whole thing?
Bundesliga Mid-Season Review: FK Austria Wien
Second placed Austria Wien return to Bundesliga action on Sunday as they come face to face with Wacker Innsbruck at the Generali Arena, with Christopher Steegmann and his team looking to close the gap on league leaders Red Bull Salzburg to just a single point. Die Vielchen are unbeaten in eight Bundesliga games, since a 4-1 defeat to Salzburg left Steegmann’s side sitting in fourth and struggling to mount a title challenge but since then, Austria Wien have lost just once in all competitions, a 3-0 defeat to Standard Liege in the Europa League and with just four games remaining until the Bundesliga is split in two, Austria Wien will be looking to continue their good run of form and will hope they can take their title challenge that one step further.
Mid-Season FriendliesCompared to last season, where Die Vielchen travelled to Slovenia for a mini tour of the country for their mid-season friendlies, Christopher Steegmann made sure that Austria Wien stayed local this season. Die Vielchen played three mid-season games, beating Erste Liga side BW Linz 2-0 with Bright Edomwonyi scoring both goals, before Steegmann and his side came up against the clubs B team, strong competitors in the Erste Liga this season. The first team came away with a confident and strong 5-1 victory with Christian Schoissengeyr, Can Keles and Maximilian Sax all scoring one goal apiece, before Bright Edomwonyi added another double to make it 5. Finally Die Vielchen finished their mid-season preparations at home to Liefering with Bright Edomwonyi and Blessing Eleke scoring the goals as Die Vielchen responded to Liefering’s early goal to seal another victory.
Transfer ActivityThere were no major incomings at the Generali Arena over the course of the January transfer window whilst Die Vielchen fans were rocked by the deadline day departure of Brazilian defender Jubal, who joined title rivals Salzburg for £4.2 million. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Austria Wien fans as Jubal had taken a place amongst the hearts of Die Vielchen fans this season after several confident and composed performances had helped Austria Wien move to second in the table. With not long left in the window by the time the deal was announced by Salzburg, Christopher Steegmann and his scouting team were left with little to no time to find a replacement and as a result Tarkan Serbest was recalled from a loan spell with Besiktas JK to play a part in what Austria Wien fans will hope is a title winning run in.
European CampaignAfter a 3-0 defeat to Standard Liege on Matchday 4 of the Europa League Group Stages, it looked as if Die Vielchen’s European campaign may be bought to an end in December. However two big wins against Olympiakos, beating the Greek side 5-0 and a 4-1 thumping of FC Basel at St. Jakobs Park, saw Austria Wien progress from Group H as Group Winners. Following on from the 2-1 victory over Liefering, Die Vielchen then went on to beat Zorya 3-1 away in the Ukraine with two goals from Dominik Prokop and a strike from Lucas Venuto, before sealing a place in the last 16 of the Europa League by beating Zorya 2-0 at the Generali Arena with two goals from Blessing Eleke guiding the side into the final 16. Die Vielchen will meet Italian side Fiorentina in the next round of the competition in their toughest tie of their campaign to date but Christopher Steegmann will be confident of getting something from the first leg at Artemio Franchi after some confident performances in Europe this season.
Injury NewsFortunately for Christopher Steegmann and the Austria Wien fans, Die Vielchen haven’t had to contend with lots of long term injuries this season and the squad is completely fresh coming into the second part of this Bundesliga campaign. Lucas Venuto was out injured for a chunk of the season before Christmas, but since returning has been in fine form and has become a key attacking component for Die Vielchen. The loss of Jubal to Salzburg will sting for Die Vielchen as they are now a defender shorter than they were earlier in the season but Steegmann will be confident in his teams ability to cope heading into the business end of the season.
Upcoming FixturesThe big fixture for Die Vielchen is once again a huge tie against Red Bull Salzburg at the Red Bull Arena on Matchday 22. Two home fixtures against Wacker Innsbruck and LASK Linz will get Die Vielchen’s Bundesliga campaign back under way, before Steegmann takes his side to Florence to meet Fiorentina in a huge game in the Europa League, before returning to Austria to face Admira Wacker in the Bundesliga. The return leg in the Europa League follows the Admira Wacker game, before the huge grudge match against Salzburg where Die Vielchen will look to usurp Salzburg to the top of the Bundesliga table before the division is split in two.
CommentsGriffo: You’ve started a joke that you’ll never live down
Justice: It’s been a thrilling ride so far and the next round will be even more of a thrill, nobody will fancy us that much!
ScottT: I really wish that were true man but I really doubt it, although anything is possible!
Last Update: #2.32 Eleke Double Puts Die Vielchen Into Last 16
Next Update: #2.34 Steegmann: We Won't Fear Fiorentina
└ This post was edited by mgriffin2012 (2019-02-24 18:18, 2 months ago)
Interesting decision to allow a transfer to a rival team, hopefully the player returning from loan will take the opportunity with both hands
Steegmann: We Won’t Fear Fiorentina
As the full time whistle blew at the Generali Arena on Saturday, marking the end of Austria Wien’s 1-1 draw with LASK Linz, attentions quickly turned to Thursday’s big European night in Italy as Die Vielchen began preparations for their first leg meeting with Fiorentina. Viola came through a touph Europa League group containing Ajax, Midjtylland and Slavia Prague before beating Braga in the First Knockout Round to set up a highly anticipated clash for Die Vielchen fans with most Austria Wien fans looking forward to the prospect of facing up to a side from one of Europe’s top five leagues. With preparations well under way, Christopher Steegmann took time out of a busy schedule to talk to fk-austria.at about Thursday’s clash in Florence.
Christopher, the league and the teams title bid is put on pause for the time being and your attentions turn to Fiorentina and the Europa League. How are you feeling?
Excited is probably the word. I think you can feel it around the club to be honest. Everybody knows that the team is in a good moment right now and that there is something exciting and a big game coming up. Obviously we’re away in Florence this week so we’ll only have a small number of fans with us but we’re extremely happy to be in the competition at this stage and are determined to put in a real shift and positive performance to show off what we can do to the rest of Europe.
Obviously, as you’ve already mentioned, the first leg takes place in Florence at Artemio Franchi on Thursday night, how confident are you that you and your team can get a positive result from that first leg?
Listen, we’ve got this far so there is every chance that we can come away from this game with a positive result. We’ve played some very good sides in my time here, namely Athletic Club and Villarreal and we’ve picked up very positive results, albeit they were only in friendlies. However they have given us the confidence that we can go on to get results against teams of the stature of Fiorentina, particularly having beaten Zenit earlier in the season. I’m confident. Not overly confident but I know that if we play as well as we can do then we can go back to Wien next week with something to show for our efforts on Thursday.
You will no doubt be backed by a horde of travelling Die Vielchen fans, do you have a message for any of them reading this interview ahead of that crunch tie in Italy?
Bring your loudest voices and everything you’ve got. We need them to be behind us on Thursday, I mean I already know they will be, but we need to turn Florence into a mini Wien and show Fiorentina what Austria Wien is all about. The fans have been incredible in my time here and I know that if they are as loud and visible as they can be on Thursday that will help my team put in the kind of performance we need them to do. We won’t fear Fiorentina on Thursday, make sure that they are fearing us.
Let’s just rewind a little bit to the last round and the win over Zorya. You managed to brush them aside easily, does that give you confidence going into this game?
Yeah we put in a very good performance against Zorya in both legs of that tie and we got the result that our performance deserved. They’re a good team, make no mistakes about that, but considering we had come off our winter break only a few weeks before and hadn’t played a competitive game, I think we’ve got every reason to be really proud of ourselves for that Zorya result. It absolutely gives us confidence going into the game with Fiorentina, especially now we have those two games and two Bundesliga games under our belt and the lads will hopefully click into gear straight away at Artemio Franchi on Thursday night.
As for Fiorentina, they’ve faced some good sides in the likes of Ajax and Braga in their route to this stage of the competition, do you fear that they will be looking at Die Vielchen as an easier step on their way to the Quarter Finals?
I would hope that they don’t think like that heading into a game like this at the stage of the competition that we are now in. They are a very good side and they’ve got good results against Ajax, Braga etc. but the fact that we are here in the Round of 16 with them means that we are a good team and deserve their respect because ultimately we do deserve that respect.
The 1-1 draw against LASK was a bit of a blow to your title bid, do you fear that this will impact on your team heading into such a big game in Europe?
It was a blow to our title bid, but Rapid Wien held Salzburg to a draw too so really the result hasn’t impacted the title bid too much. I don’t think it will have any impact on the team heading into this game against Fiorentina and if it does it will have a positive impact because they’ll be determined to pick up a positive result off the back of a frustrating one at the Generali Arena. This squad is a lot stronger mentally than we were perhaps last season and I know this team will cope and we’ll be back to winning ways as soon as possible.
How demoralising could a defeat in Florence be to your team and their ambitions of achieving success domestically and do you fear a drop off in morale and form if things don’t go Austria Wien’s way on Thursday?
Like I said, this squad is very strong mentally and the spirit in this team right now is very high and I know that if things don’t go to plan against Fiorentina, it won’t impact on our league campaign an awful lot. We might drop off a little bit but this squad is more than good enough to pick up positive results even with a slight drop off. We’ve been rotating a fair amount this season and we’ve continued to pick up the positive results that we’ve needed to get, so I know that if we don’t get the result we’re after against Fiorentina that we will be able to switch it back on against Admira Wacker at the weekend,
What sort of team can we expect you to field in Florence, given the enormity of the meeting with Admira Wacker just a few days later?
We’ll go into this Fiorentina game with the intention of winning it by naming our best starting possible XI and trying to play the best football that we can. They are a great team and they deserve a lot of respect and we need to be at our very best. The game against Fiorentina though is the highest priority right now, and we will get around to the Admira Wacker game when it rolls around to the Sunday. Obviously we want to win both games but right now the focus is solely on the game in Florence and trying to get a positive result heading back to the Generali Arena next week.
Just how big of an impact could the Generali Arena have on your team if you are to find yourself in a positive position in a week’s time and heading into the second leg at home?
It could have a massive impact, although I know that a lot of managers will say that about having the second leg at home. But these fans are raucous when they really get going and they will make a lot of noise, even for a stadium that holds as many people as ours does. I know that they can help fire us through especially if we come back to the Generali Arena with a positive result or even if we only have a slim chance of qualifying. They will be very much excited for this game and the second leg and I cannot wait to see what they come up with against Fiorentina in just over a weeks time.
Well Christopher, thank you very much for taking the time out to talk to us, good luck on Thursday, talk to you soon!
You’re welcome, thank you very much, talk soon!
CommentsGriffo: Haha I wish it was voluntary and not a dumb release clause that was activated!
Last Update: #2.33 Bundesliga Mid-Season Review: FK Austria Wien
Next Update: #2.35 Fiorentina See Off Brave Die Vielchen Side
└ This post was edited by mgriffin2012 (2019-02-27 21:34, 2 months ago)
Fiorentina See Off Brave Die Vielchen SideFiorentina: A Lafont, Roberto Rosales, G Pezzella (V Hugo 79), D Caleta-Car, T Kolodziejczak, M Parolo (M Benassi 79), J Veretout, T Walcott, F Vazquez (E Hestad 72), L Trossard, H Seferovic
Austria Wien: P Pentz, F Klein, Tarkan Serbest (T Hubocan 80), A Borkovic, C Cuevas, J Jeggo, U Matic, Lucas Venuto (K Friesenbichler 53), A Grunwald, D Prokop (M Sax 14), B Edomwonyi
In the first leg of their Round of 16 clash with Italian side Fiorentina, Die Vielchen were today brushed to one side by the Serie A outfit. The odds were against Die Vielchen heading into the tie at Artemio Franchi with an apparently obvious gulf in quality between the two sides with Fiorentina regulars at the top end of one of Europe’s biggest leagues, but Christopher Steegmann named a strong starting XI and his players put in a brave performance in which for large periods of the game they pushed Fiorentina all the way and made life difficult for the hosts. The travelling Die Vielchen fans will now head back home to Wien ahead of Sunday’s huge Bundesliga clash with Admira Wacker and prepare to sing their side towards the final whistle when Viola visit the Generali Arena next week.
With Fiorentina manager Stefano Pioli able to name a starting XI from a squad full of players with European experience, the Italians were always going to be the favourites to control the tie at Artemio Franchi and really were in a lose lose situation because of their huge favourites tag. Christopher Steegmann was able to name his preferred attacking line up and midfield in the hope that the team would pull a result out of the bag but after Marco Parolo hit the back of the net after 27 minutes to open the scoring, Fiorentina assumed control of the first leg and were able to put Die Vielchen to the sword.
Austria Wien had managed to play some very good, attractive attacking football and give Fiorentina fans something to worry about during the opening exchanges and Steegmann’s side perhaps should have taken the lead when Bright Edomwonyi was slipped through by Lucas Venuto, but Alban Lafont was able to make the save and tip the ball on to the net. Once Parolo had scored though the home side assumed the position of power in the tie and began to push forward in search of a second goal. Die Vielchen were brave and continued trying to press their opponents but the quality in the home side’s players was telling as they earnt the victory.
Having headed into half time only 1-0 down, Die Vielchen would have felt that they could have pushed for an equaliser, but when Jordan Veretout struck from a similar position to Parolo’s goal in the first half, the tie began to slip away from Die Vielchen. Theo Walcott would then seal a 3-0 victory for Fiorentina in the home leg of this tie with a cool and calm finish into the bottom corner to truly deflate the visiting side. What’s more two injuries to Dominik Prokop and Lucas Venuto will also be huge blows to Christopher Steegmann and Die Vielchen ahead of another big Bundesliga game in the coming matchday, although news from the medical department appears to suggest Lucas Venuto could return to the side for the second leg in a weeks time.
Austria Wien will of course host Fiorentina in the second leg in a weeks time at the Generali Arena, where they will hope that they can strike a miracle and really upset the odds to progress to the Quarter Finals. However, Christopher Steegmann said in his post-match interview that “next week I think we need to rotate, knowing that there is the huge game against Salzburg right around the corner. That game has to be a huge priority for us right now because of what could be at stake but we’ve just got to keep our focus and take things a game at a time really.”
Last Update: #2.34 Steegmann: We Won’t Fear Fiorentina
Next Update: #2.36 Die Vielchen Fight Back But Succumb To Extra Time Goal
└ This post was edited by mgriffin2012 (2019-03-02 19:36, 2 months ago)
Die Vielchen Fight Back But Succumb To Extra Time GoalAustria Wien: P Pentz, F Klein, Tarkan Serbest, A Borkovic, C Cuevas, Can Keles (J Jeggo 84), D Cancola, M Sax (Lucas Venuto 65), A Grunwald (M Canadi 119), B Eleke, B Edomwonyi
Fiorentina: A Lafont, R Rosales, G Pezzella, T Kolodziejczak, C Biraghi, M Benassi, M Parolo (D Caleta-Car 71), T Walcott, F Vazquez (E Hestad 69), L Trossard (H Toledo 71), H Seferovic
Die Vielchen put in an incredibly brave and spirited performance at the Generali Arena tonight as they almost completed one of the greatest comebacks in the clubs history as they beat Fiorentina 3-1 in the second leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie. Christopher Steegmann named a rotated side at the Generali Arena with Monday nights huge clash with Red Bull Salzburg in mind, but the eleven players selected and the three substitutes did the club and the home fans proud as they so nearly came back from 3 goals down in the first leg to seal a place in the Quarter Finals of the Europa League against all the odds.
With key attacking players such as Lucas Venuto and Dominik Prokop missing, and with a changed midfield of Can Keles and David Cancola, many thought that Die Vielchen would struggle to impose themselves on their Italian opponents tonight but straight from the off Christopher Steegmann’s side pressed and harried their opponents into making mistakes and it paid dividends as the night wore on. When Bright Edomwonyi was pulled back by German Pezzella in the 27th minute, his fellow Nigerian Blessing Eleke stepped up to smash the resulting spot kick straight down the middle of Alban Lafont’s goal to make it 1-0 and at least give the home fans something to celebrate.
The home fans still only expected that Eleke’s seventh goal of the season would be little more than a consolation but there was hope that Die Vielchen could secure a second leg victory to give their co-efficient ranking a small boost ahead of what they will hope is another European campaign next season. However the mood at the Generali Arena was lifted just six minutes after Eleke’s opening goal as a stunning strike from David Cancola from 35 yards out flew past Alban Lafont, giving the French goalkeeper no chance at all and suddenly Austria Wien were back in the tie with a 2-0 lead at home and looking capable of pushing on for a winner.
Fiorentina were visibly shell shocked and the eleven players in purple had clearly lost their heads as passes started going astray as Die Vielchen’s high pressing game was clearly working a treat. Viola were glad to go into the half time whistle only two goals down but the home side were tasting blood as the home fans with the volume level inside the Generali Arena electric. The second half started quietly with Die Vielchen clearly the better side and Fiorentina looking to hold off any slim chance of Austria Wien levelling the scores on aggregate but when Tarkan Serbest evaded his marker from Alex Grunwald’s corner to make it 3-0 on the night the Generali Arena erupted as Die Vielchen overcame a deficit that many thought would be too much heading into the second leg. The rest of the ninety minutes though, unfortunately ticked away for Die Vielchen without Christopher Steegmann’s side being able to find the fourth goal that would have ended the game at the final whistle.
Steegmann had thrown on the likes of Lucas Venuto and James Jeggo in an attempt to see Die Vielchen’s comeback over the line, however when Hernan Toledo, himself a substitute cut inside in the 116th minute and curled a beautifully placed right footed effort into Patrick Pentz’s top corner, the home fans knew that their chances of another European night at the Generali Arena in the Quarter Finals were over. Toledo’s goal meant a lot to the visiting fans and coaching staff as wild celebrations ensued and now Viola will progress into the Quarter Finals of the Europa League. Meanwhile Austria Wien will turn their attentions back solely to the Bundesliga and with eleven games they will hope to usurp Salzburg as the Champions of Austria. Next up though is a huge clash with Red Bull Salzburg at the Red Bull Arena on Monday with Die Vielchen knowing that a victory against the league leaders will see Christopher Steegmann and his side move top of the Bundesliga with ten games to go.
Last Update: #2.36 Fiorentina See Off Brave Die Vielchen Side
Next Update: #2.38 Month In Focus: March
└ This post was edited by mgriffin2012 (2019-03-04 07:44, 2 months ago)
*hope I get this post correct*
... stupid Fiorentina!..
In my save they have been on the verge of relegation one season and then fighting for Champions League positions the next...
... stupid Fiorentina!..
In my save they have been on the verge of relegation one season and then fighting for Champions League positions the next...
Only played against Fiorentina once in all my saves. About FM 2009, I think. And they were enigmatic even then.
17.3.20, Christopher Steegmann: ”We have enjoyed a relatively successful return to the Bundesliga campaign and one that was certainly a lot better than last seasons. Beating Wacker Innsbruck and Admira Wacker were big wins especially as we weren’t at our best and we kept two clean sheets which was really pleasing and if it hadn’t have been for the draw with LASK we would have been level on points with Salzburg heading into that game with them. To lose to them was frustrating because we were really confident that we could pick up a positive result to maintain the proximity between them and us but it wasn’t to be. Fortunately for us, the league splits in two now and points tallies are reduced so we’re still only three points behind them with ten games to go so everything remains on the cards and we could still push them very far. They’ve dropped points since returning to action and we now have to hope they do so again and we’ve got to make sure we’re in a position to do just that.”
CommentsGriffo: Yeah I think they’ve been doing that in this save, but they’ve still managed to put together a good squad that could go on and win the Europa League
tenthreeleader: They’re a thorn in my side for the rest of this save now
Last Update: #2.36 Die Vielchen Fight Back But Succumb To Extra Time Goal
Next Update: #2.38 Knasmullner Penalty Hands Rapid Derby Spoils
└ This post was edited by mgriffin2012 (2019-03-08 07:48, 2 months ago)
God I just love your graphics, how do you put these together? Great update!
Knasmullner Penalty Hands Rapid Derby SpoilsAustria Wien: P Pentz, F Klein, Tarkan Serbest, A Borkovic, C Cuevas, D Cancola, J Jeggo (U Matic 72), Lucas Venuto (M Sax 62), M Canadi (A Grunwald 62), B Eleke, B Edomwonyi
Rapid Wien: R. Strebinger, L Klunter, S Posch, N Spolli, B Riveros, T Murg, A Abrashi (S Schwab 90), J Lea-Siliki, T Goiginger (C Knasmullner 56), O Kamara, H Preciado
Austria Wien’s hopes of landing the Bundesliga title took a significant blow today as they suffered defeat in the Wiener derby as Rapid Wien took the spoils as they claimed a 1-0 victory at the Generali Arena courtesy of a late penalty. With Rheindorf Altach seizing a surprise victory at home to Red Bull Salzburg, the third Wiener derby of the season was a huge opportunity for Christopher Steegmann and his team to close the gap on league leaders Salzburg, and the German will be holding his head in his hands after defeat at home to their bitter rivals sees Die Vielchen stay three points behind the league leaders.
Fresh off the back of their resounding 4-0 thumping of LASK Linz the previous weekend, confidence was high amongst Die Vielchen’s camp that they could continue their title charge with a strong showing in the latest Wiener derby but Rapid had other ideas. Carsten Jancker’s side were resolute throughout, and although Die Vielchen’s forward players will have to be ashamed of some of the chances they missed, Rapid will have a lot to be pleased about, and Jancker will be looking ahead to next season where he will hope the visitors to the Generali Arena today can push on, once European football has been secured this season.
It was one of Austria Wien’s brightest prospects that gave away the penalty that saw Rapid win the game as Alexander Borkovic bought Harold Preciado down in the area needlessly, although much contention remains around the decision to give the spot kick. However after receiving his yellow card, Borkovic was dealt the ultimate punishment as Christoph Knasmullner smashed his penalty into the bottom corner of the goal, sending Patrick Pentz the wrong way to seal the three points and send the travelling Rapid fans wild. The defeat will sting that little bit more for Die Vielchen as Harold Preciado and Ole Kamara were both sent off for horrible two footed lunges in the final 15 minutes, but Austria Wien failed to capitalise on their two men advantage and score the goal that would have earnt them at least a point at the Generali.
It was a victory for Rapid that does little for their chances of winning the Champions Play Off and ultimately the tipico Bundesliga but gives Carsten Jancker’s side a much better chance of qualifying for the Europa League, solidifying their position in fifth in the table. For Austria Wien though, as mentioned previously, Christopher Steegmann’s side missed out on the chance to close the gap on Salzburg after the league leaders defeat and their attentions will now turn to Friday nights meeting with Rheindorf Altach and making sure that they don’t slip to a similar result as their nearest rivals.
CommentsGriffo: I put them together on an app called Canva mate! Thanks
Last Update: #2.37 Month In Focus: March
Next Update: #2.39 Pentz: Salzburg Game Could Define Our Season
└ This post was edited by mgriffin2012 (2019-03-08 19:50, 2 months ago)
Pentz: Salzburg Game Could Define Our Season
With just six games to go in the tipico Bundesliga campaign, Austria Wien currently sit three points behind league leaders Red Bull Salzburg with Christopher Steegmann’s side looking like the only realistic challengers to Marco Rose’s sides crown. However, the two sides will meet at the Generali Arena on Sunday in a huge game for both teams. A victory for Salzburg will send them six points clear and surely make them favourites to retain their title, whilst a victory for Die Vielchen will see Christopher Steegmann and his team close the gap on the league leaders and trail Salzburg only by goal difference. One of Die Vielchen’s key figures this season Patrick Pentz, took the time to speak to fk-austria.at about his thoughts ahead of a crunch meeting between the top two in the Bundesliga.
Patrick, thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. You must be thrilled with how this season has gone so far for Die Vielchen, what are your thoughts and feelings towards the current campaign and what do you hope you as a team can still go on to achieve?
Yeah we are very happy and on a personal level I am really happy with how this season has gone. We know we could be higher in the league and topping the table but we’ve been playing some brilliant football this season and getting some big results. After the defeat to Salzburg in October we were down in fourth position and a way out of the title race but we’ve clawed it back and shown how good a team we are by getting ourselves into the position we are in now.
Is there any regret amongst yourself and the rest of the playing squad that you were unable to get a positive result against Salzburg on Matchday 22 that could have seen you head into the Champions Play Off as league leaders?
Maybe a little bit if we’re being honest. We felt like we were playing some really good football and we feel like we let ourselves down over the course of that 90 minutes at the Red Bull Arena. We wanted to get a result that would have been huge for this club but we were unable to do that and our performance wasn’t what it needed to be and as a result we allowed Salzburg to gain ground on us and move ahead.
And of course, you once again meet Salzburg this Sunday, back at the Generali Arena knowing that a victory could put you back on level points with the leaders, how are you and the rest of the squad feeling ahead of such an important game?
It is going to be a huge game that is for sure and you can rest assured that we are feeling confident ahead of the game. Apart from the defeat to Rapid Wien we’ve been playing really well since the start of the Champions Play Off with three wins from our four games and we’ve not conceded a goal in any of those victories so yes we’re definitely confident heading into arguably the biggest game of the season. We know that if we win we’re right back in the mix for the title, I mean we’re already in the mix, but a victory will put us on level points and we’d put ourselves in the best position we’ve been in all season to go on and win the league title.
Do you think Austria Wien’s season will be defined by whether or not the team goes on to win the Bundesliga title, or do you think that by the time the curtain comes down on the campaign, everyone associated with the club will be able to look back on the season as a whole and see the progress made?
I do think that it could define our season yes. If we play poorly like we did a few weeks ago then it will definitely define the season as one where we upped our game a little bit but just didn’t have the quality to step up that extra bit more that we needed to. If we play well and fail to get the result or go on to get a positive result then we can look back with real pride and be confident that this team has taken huge strides forward from where it was last season and the season before and we’ll be able to look at ourselves as serious title contenders heading into the new season.
Compared to last season, where by this stage of the campaign it was fair to say Die Vielchen’s interest in the title was probably over, what are the major differences between last season and this one?
There are huge differences. Statistically we look better, we’ve won more games, scored more goals and conceded less so we’ve made huge improvements in that aspect and we look even more capable of challenging at the very top of the league this season. However I think if you look at the way we’re playing this season compared to last, we’re being a lot more pragmatic, getting positive results where perhaps last season we’d have slipped up and lost the game or drawn the game and we’re defending a lot more resolutely and riding out games when we’re up against it more often than not which is really pleasing.
You’ve continued to be an integral part of the team under Christopher Steegmann playing every league game since the German became manager at the Generali Arena, how happy are you with your development?
It’s fantastic to have played as much football as I have in the last two years and to have established myself as the number 1 here. I love this club, I’ve been bought up with and around his club so to be playing week in week out for this team is truly special and I have to extend a massive thank you to Christopher and his coaching staff for helping me develop the way I have. I feel confident every time I step out on to the pitch right now, knowing that I can play a huge role in any success this team has and knowing that the team will help me have success in my role in the team.
As a result of your own personal performances you’re being very hotly tipped to win the Goalkeeper of the Year award, do you think you are deserving of that title?
I’m too humble and embarrassed to go on to say yes I do think I am. Obviously it’s an honour to have been linked with the award and to have received the credit for my performances that I have been doing and I will be incredibly privileged if I do go on to win the award and the speculation is correct.
You are now obviously 23 years old, you have been called up to the senior international squad, do you feel that you should be making an appearance for the Austria national team sooner rather than later and what are your hopes for an international career?
Absolutely, it would be a huge honour to represent the national team and get the chance to show the entire nation and the entire world what I can do between the sticks and I really hope that that day arrives soon. I’d love to go on and establish myself as a regular at international level but I’ve got a long time left in my career yet so we shall see what happens. I just have to keep playing the way I have been doing over the last few seasons and we shall if anything happens from there.
There has been a lot of rumoured interest in your services this season from other clubs such as Liverpool, Southampton and Udinese amongst others, and after saying that you wanted to leave earlier in the season, are you glad that you have stayed having experienced what you have done with Die Vielchen this season?
Yes I’m definitely glad I stayed because this season has been a real thrill ride and really enjoyable and I know I would have missed out on it had I left. I regret the way I acted back in the summer but I feel like I’ve always given my best for the team out on the pitch and I’ve represented this club with honour and worn the badge with pride too and hopefully we can go on to celebrate some success in the coming weeks.
Well that concludes this interview Patrick, thank you again for speaking to us, good luck on Sunday!
Thank you very much, hopefully we’re coming back with the three points on Sunday night.
Last Update: #2.38 Knasmullner Penalty Hands Rapid Derby Spoils
Next Update: #2.40 Edomwonyi Strike Draws Die Vielchen Level At Top
└ This post was edited by mgriffin2012 (2019-03-10 19:59, 2 months ago)
That loss could be costly. However, let's remain positive for now and ensure you get a result against Salzburg. That game will be absolutely huge!
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