When die Roten Bullen head to Augsburg on Saturday (15:30 CEST), it will be a battle of first place versus second place.
In a press conference ahead of the game, head coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke about the upcoming match and gave an update on the squad.
Julian Nagelsmann on...
...THE INTERNATIONAL BREAK:
- "The fact that several of our internationals are only able to return to training on Friday because we're waiting on the results from their Covid-19 tests, is not optimal. Nonetheless, as head coach it's my job to deal with situations like this and to make the best of it. Additionally, I have the responsibility of preparing my players so that they know what to do even without having had much training time."
...THE TASKS AHEAD:
- "Overall, I think our squad is well prepared for the season. However, as a team we still need to be more clinical with our finishing. It's important, and it will become even more crucial that we put our games to bed early so that we can ease up a bit in terms of our intensity in the closing stages of games. Seven games in 21 days will be extremely hard on us, and things won't get any easier as the season goes on."
...INTEGRATING ACADEMY PLAYERS:
- "Fundamentally, our aim is to integrate academy players into our first-team squad. We've made some headway in this regard recently, with Joscha Wosz featuring against Schalke in our last home game or Dennis Borkowski against Augsburg last season.
However, there's one thing I really want to see from them. Our academy players need to recognise that I'm a coach who has a proven track record of calling upon young talents. They need to recognise that we have several games to play and that there's not much time for breaks in between, which means that they could have a chance to play for the first team. With this in mind, they need to bring the right mentality to the table and have that absolute desire to win every game! Players such as Tyler Adams or Angelino are good examples of that, and our academy players can learn from them. Both of them, no matter if it's in training or during a game always give it their all and always have that desire to play and to win."
...FC AUGSBURG'S STYLE OF PLAY:
- "In comparison to last season, Augsburg's style of play has greatly improved. They don't allow nearly as many counter-attacks, and take fewer risks. They have a clear structure to their build-up play and have several attacking options to call upon. For example, they have several strong attacking players in André Hahn, Michael Gregoritsch and Florian Niederlechner who are very physical and pose a threat.We will need to be prepared for everything and execute our game plan by maintaining possession and being aggressive in our Gegenpressing. That will be the key against Augsburg."
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Marcel Sabitzer is making good progress after his muscle strain, but will definitely not feature against Augsburg.
Konrad Laimer is continuing his rehab program in Leipzig following a knee injury, and will also not be available to feature on Saturday.
- Several players returning from international duty are still awaiting the results of their Covid-19 tests. Should they all test negative, then these players will return to team training on Friday and will be able to feature on Saturday.