Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 0
(0 - 0)
L. Kübler (56), V. Grifo (80)
M. Friedl (14)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Füllkrug frustrated with poor defending off throw-ins after Freiburg loss

After high-flying Werder Bremen have suddenly lost three matches on-the-bounce and been eliminated from Germany's domestic cup, SV striker Niclas Füllkrug vented some frustration at his team's mistakes during his post-match-interview. 
SV Werder Bremen never stood much of a chance on Saturday against Freiburg when the squad's young captain Marco Friedl was sent off on a straight red roughly one quarter-of-an-hour into the match. The 24-year-old skipper denied Freiburg's Michael Gregoritsch of a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Match official Bastian Dankert with no choice.

One of the team's more experienced players, 29-year-old striker Niclas Füllkrug, offered some of his insights on Friedl's decision to grab Gregoritsch's tricot and plant a knee in the jSCF attacker's back. The popular German national team candidate knows how such situations should preferably be handled.

"You can't decide so rashly," Füllkrug noted, "I think, in hindsight, we would have preferred to accept a 0-1 and continue playing with eleven men. With the red card, it was difficult to create chances. One relies on luck with long balls that potentially can be extended. Either it works or just not. We're not that good after all."

Both Füllkrug and club administrator Clemens Fritz registered some complaints about Dankert's officiating in the match. While making clear that they thought the red card and later penalty decision that allowed Freiburg to seal the result from the spot were correct, there was a case of mistaken identity on the foul that allowed Vincenzo Grifo to convert the 2-0.

Felix Ago committed the foul. Lee Buchanan was booked. Fritz noted that he had already spoken to Dankert about the mis-book and received assurances that it would be corrected in the match report. Füllkrug wanted to point out that both Freiburg goals came off throw-ins which his team defended poorly.

"If you consider it, the two decisive situations occurred after a throw-in," Füllkrug complained, "That must never happen to us. That these cases results in a penalty and a red card. That's too easy."

Bremen will Gert a chance to halt their current slide against Hertha next Friday night in the round 12 curtain-raiser. It should be noted that the some of the team's current form does relate to the short-term absences of key players.

Füllkrug's striking partner Marvin Ducksch was suspended for the midweek Pokal loss. Niklas Schmidt and Christian Groß were unavailable against Freiburg because of illness. Milos Velkjovic and Niklas Stark are also on injured reserve.

"I think the explanation for all of this is that we've always missing important players at the moment in the last games," Füllkrug concluded,  "Unfortunately, we haven't managed to replace players the way we needed to. I hope that everyone will be available again on Friday and we'll go into the game rested."

Schmidt, Groß, and potentially Velkjovic and Stark may be back. The team will still have to do without captain Friedl, however, who will be suspended after his straight red.

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