Germany: Bundesliga
FT
1 - 5
(1 - 1)
FC Köln
RB Leipzig
S. Adamyan (18)
X. Simons (15), L. Openda (63), L. Openda (67), A. Haidara (70), Y. Poulsen (82)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Keller and Schulz slam team for lack of grit in duels: "Not after a 'Fair Play Prize'!"

Both head-coach Timo Schultz and club sporting director Christian Keller criticized the physicality and toughness of their team following last night's drubbing at the hands of RB Leipzig. 
For both Köln sporting director Christian Keller and head-coach Timo Schultz, the lack of sharpness, presence, and general courage in the duels from their side in last night's loss to Leipzig remained totally unacceptable. Keller - facing the media after Schultz went on an epic rand at last night's post-match press conference - cited specific examples of how his team failed. 

"We were rightly roughed up," Keller said, "We weren't there in the decisive duels. We got cooked off on the touchline several times. That's not good enough against an opponent of this quality. The team made too many individual mistakes in crucial situations." 

Keller referenced Rasmus Carstensen's dual with Leipzig's David Raum just before the 1-3 as something that was emblematically wrong with the team. Carstensen was, in Keller's words, beaten in "a very easy duel". After that, came a "poorly defended corner kick" on which no one picked up Amadou Haidara on the 1-4. 

Schultz's diatribe spared no one.

"The 42 percent win rate on duels - even if I don't always hold that statistic in high regard - really bothers me," Schultz began, "because that was the theme of the match today. No need to sugarcoat it. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but when I have to throw people into the advertising boards, I have to do so." 

"Excuse me, but we are the 1. FC Köln playing against RB Leipzig" Schultz continued, "and we didn't seem to be aware of that today. And that's how a team gets punished. Today we were punished so with five goals against. That's something we have to work on."

"I've said it a few times," Schultz carried on, "We've been second in the 'Fair Play Table' for a while. I'm not looking to win a 'Fair Play Prize'! We need a healthy abrasiveness. We need more power and confidence in duels on and off the ball." 

"That's going to be core characteristic over the course of the rest of the season," Schultz concluded, "because opponents will come up against us on eye-level with compactness and strength in the duels. At a minimum, we must meet them on eye level." 

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