At his Monday press conference, SGE head-coach Adi Hütter acknowledged that his team was unfocused during Saturday's 0-4 shellacking away at Gladbach.
The new Gladbach trainer again defended his impending move to the club that delivered the blow to Eintracht Frankfurt's 2021/22 Champions' League hopes.
Hütter called tomorrow's match against Augsburg a "crunch-time game" and also declared defensive talisman Martin Hinteregger once again an option fort the starting XI.
|Adi Hütter.||Photo: Football.ua/Creative Commons/CC-by-SA 3.0|
Facing insatiably curious footballing journalists again during his compulsory Monday pre-match press conference, Adi Hütter did not deny that his team's wholly uninspired performance in the weekend fixture was related to his midweek announcement that he would be switching clubs this offseason.
"During the week, the focus was perhaps not at 100 percent," he conceded, "and there was a certain disappointment among the players. In principle, however, this should be seen as a positive sign. The disappointment illustrates a very good relationship with the players and that I have done many things right over the years."
Hütter insisted that his team would show its "character and [strength of] mentality" in the upcoming fixture against Augsburg, adding, "we've always found our way back on track after setbacks."
One player Hütter confirmed to be back on track is defensive linchpin Martin Hinteregger. The 28-year-old Austrian has been missing from the SGE ranks four six rounds with thigh fascia problems. After a long six-week-layoff, the team's vital defensive cog stands ready and fit for a showdown the club must win to keep its UCL hopes alive.
"He [Hinteregger] trained normally today and is resultantly an option," Hütter noted, adding, "He's not 100 percent fit. Whether its enough for Augsburg, I cannot say. It's a race against time."
Hinteregger's countryman Stefan Ilsanker has been deputizing as the central defensive leader of the team's back-three in his absence; to consistently rave reviews one might add.
While it is not at all clear if Hütter will be prepared to take a chance at one of the positions that did not cause him serious problems on Saturday, it is clear that the team must not drop anymore points with a resurgent Borussia Dortmund lurking just beneath them in the battle for the top-four."
"If we want to stay up there, we must win," Hütter emphasized, "We want to show a reaction."