For bottom-of-the-table SpVgg Greuther Fürth, the word "crisis" doesn't quite do the club's current state justice.
Amid a hail of bad news, Stefan Leitl threw the full weight that words would allow behind his players.
The five Fürth players who tested positive for COVID last week have since been revealed to be keeper Sascha Burchert, defender Maximilian Bauer, holding midfielder Nils Seufert, and attackers Jeremy Dudziak and Dickson Abiama. All five remain in domestic quarantine and will be unavailable against Frankfurt on Sunday.
Head-coach Stefan Leitl tried to put a positive spin on matters, saying that defender Marco Meyerhöfer (non-COVID-flu) and midfielder Adrian Fein (muscular problems) "might" be ready to go. The SpVgg trainer still must do without Nick Viergever (out indefinitely after injuring his ankle against Freiburg last week) and a host of others who have been out long-term.
Leitl doesn't even have a natural center back entering Sunday's duel against 15th placed Frankfurt.
"It's a situation I've never faced as a player or a coach," Leitl said on Friday, "We've had to accept an extremely large upheaval, which is beyond normal for a promoted team."
"The many injured and corona situation on top of it," Leitl lamented with a sigh, "We have 11 players out, and it's not like we have 11 players ready to come in and play in the Bundesliga."
Grasping for something constructive to build upon, the 44-year-old opted to go for broke.
"It doesn't matter who has to drop out or if we don't have any central defenders left," the coach remarked with a rise in his tone, "These are my guys and I trust them completely. I know that they'll give it their all. I'm 100 percent convinced of that. Moreover, I think it's finally our turn to win a match."
Winless Fürth have earned just one point through 10 rounds.
|15||J. Willems ↪76|
|33||P. Seguin ↪83|
|37||J. Green ↪73|
|19||C. Itten ⚽|
|10||B. Hrgota (C)|
|27||G. Itter ↩76|
|6||A. Fein ↩83|
|21||T. Tillman ↩73|
|13||M. Hinteregger (C)|
|37||E. Durm ↪46|
|8||D. Sow ↪72|
|15||D. Kamada ↪89|
|29||J. Lindstrøm ↪71|
|19||R. Borré ⚽|
|21||R. Ache ↩71|
|18||A. Touré ↩46 ↪90|
|3||S. Ilsanker ↩89|
|17||S. Rode ↩72 ⚽|
|22||T. Chandler ↩90|