A trip to Freiburg on matchday 18
Enrico Maaßen wants to build on the positive end to the first half of the season as his side travel to Freiburg on Saturday (28th January, 15:30 CET). His side are full of momentum after their 1-0 win over Gladbach in the week.
The head coach discussed the first 17 games in Friday’s presser: “It’s a lot of fun working with the team here. We have shown good performances, especially against big teams, but we’ve had to deal with suspensions and bad luck with injuries,” explained Maaßen. FCA managed to finish their first half of the season on a positive note with a 1-0 home win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Wednesday evening and the boss believes his side fully deserved the three points: “It was simply a nice feeling that we were rewarded for our performance. We did lots of things right. However, we can’t celebrate for too long because we have to go again. We’ll be taking the momentum from the game with us and we’re looking to go one better.”
Maaßen expects a tough test when his side travel to Freiburg on Saturday afternoon: “We have to put in a top performance, we need to be clinical in front of goal and defend as well as we did against Gladbach.” Around 2,000 FCA fans are making the trip to the Europa-Park Stadion to support their side.
The gaffer has the same players available as he did against Gladbach, with Ruben Vargas and Irvin Cardona still out. Niklas Dorsch was able to get some valuable minutes on Wednesday after his long spell on the sidelines: “He did well when he came on and he’ll be available again,” said Maaßen.
Former SCF striker Ermedin Demirović will be returning to his former club at the weekend and Maaßen was full of praise for the 24-year-old in Friday’s presser: “Demi is really valuable for us. He is not only one of our key players but he also creates a great atmosphere in the dressing room with the boys.” Demirović will be looking to add to his tally of six goals on Saturday. Michael Gregoritsch, who left Augsburg for Freiburg in the summer, could also feature against his former club.