After a weak spring in the Bundesliga, fourth place and thus the fixed European Cup ticket are shaky. You could even lose fifth place. As usual, coach Robert Dutt exercised restraint: “There is always some kind of pressure.”
If Klagenfurt wins and at the same time loses points in the home game against Vienna Austria, at least fifth place and thus participation in the European Cup playoff would be secured, even third place is still within reach two rounds before the end.
Rapid is third with 25 points, followed by Wiener Austria (4th/23 points), WAC (5th/22nd) and Klagenfurt (6th/20th). The Carinthians have suffered six defeats in the previous eight games in the qualifying group, most recently a 0:4 in Salzburg. After sharing points with Sturm, you have to tremble now.
Dutt wants to stop the negative spiral
In the past few weeks, the media topic has been fewer possible successes than the impending departures of director Michael Liendl and Co. So it can only get better in the end.
“We’re currently on the ground,” said goalie Alexander Kofler in Salzburg in plain language, while Dutt tried to stop the negative spiral. After all, you weren’t always the worse team. “We will not deal with the negative, because otherwise this goal is not possible,” he said with regard to the EC ticket.
Graz is preparing for a party
Meanwhile, Sturm is looking forward to a kind of closing party with around 16,000 spectators. “The last home game in front of a full house is a special thing. It confirms the good season,” said successful coach Christian Ilzer.
The Styrian, who always described spring (six wins in eight games) as “harvest time”, hasn’t had enough. “There’s still more to harvest, we want wins in the last two games as well,” emphasized the 44-year-old. “I still feel hunger, greed and tension during training. I want everyone to push themselves to the limit.”
WAC is a “top team”
The opponent currently has “not the over series”, but has a clear style of play. “They are very strong in the last third and scored a lot of well-played goals. They’re an absolutely top team, active and with a few good key players,” said Ilzer, characterizing the “Wolves”.
Large rotation is not an issue for him. “The formation that is the best that day will come in,” said Ilzer, who, according to his own statements, could even have Otar Kiteishvili (muscle injury in his calf) in the squad again at the end of the season against Vienna Austria.
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