Köln - Freiburg

Germany: Bundesliga
Köln S. Andersson (50), X O. Duda (Pen. 61)
Freiburg N. Petersen (18), E. Demirović (20), V. Grifo (90), J. Schmid (90)

Heldt and Funkel consider Köln's next trainer together:
"Friedhelm's opinion is very important to me."

By Peter Vice

Peter Stöger and Steffen Baumgart remain the the two main candidates to take over for the re-retiring Friedhelm Funkel at 1. FC Köln after the campaign concludes.

There exist many reasons for a delay in the appointment, chief among them that the cathedral city club doesn't know in which division it will be playing next season.

Both Funkel and Köln sporting director Friedhelm Funkel spoke about the relegation fight on Friday and revealed that they had been in close contact about the next appointment.

Horst Heldt.
Horst Heldt.Photo: 9EkieraM1, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Hertha BSC's successful re-emerge from quarantine has once again put Köln under the gun. Germany's Geißböcke once again find themselves in an automatic relegation spot, in 17th on 29 points. A tough match against Freiburg on Sunday beckons.

"I expected Hertha to come out of quarantine well," trainer Friedhelm Funkel noted on Friday, "Second division clubs , also came of quarantine well. I saw no reason why this should not be the case. It doesn't change anything for us. We want to focus on winning our own next three matches."

After Funkel made it publicly known that he would be leaving after the season following the conclusion of the last Bundesliga round, many expected an announcement of his successor to be forthcoming over the league-break. Although it has been confirmed that former gaffer Peter Stöger did have a sit down with sporting director Horst Heldt last week, Heldt has refrained from committing to a new coach.

"We used the match-free time well," Heldt told German footballing magazine Kicker on Friday, "Of course we have the schedule to keep in mind and we'll try to keep it, because we want to plan for the next season with a new coach in place. We don't want to leave it open too long."

Heldt's words still suggested that an announcement wouldn't be forthcoming this weekend. Among other things, he hinted that the bulk of his present  discussions were with his current trainer.

"I've already compared notes with Friedhelm with about it," Heldt noted, "because his opinion is very important to me."

Funkel remains by far the league's most experienced trainer. He prepares to lock horns with the league's longest serving trainer, Christian Streich, on Sunday.

Bundesliga fans can expect quite the chess-match.

1Timo Horn
19Kingsley Ehizibue ↩76
33Sebastiaan Bornauw
5Rafael Czichos
23Jannes-Kilian Horn
28Ellyes Skhiri ↩76
31Marius Wolf ↩46
18Ondrej DudaX
14Jonas Hector (C)
11Florian Kainz ↩64
9Sebastian Andersson ↩64
16Ron-Robert Zieler
2Benno Schmitz
8Ismail Jakobs ↪46
22Jorge Meré
13Max Meyer ↪76
20Elvis Rexhbecaj
21Salih Özcan ↪76
24Dominick Drexler ↪64
29Jan Thielmann ↪64
26Mark Flekken
17Lukas Kübler
3Philipp Lienhart
5Manuel Gulde ↩84
30Christian Günter (C)
36Yannik Keitel ↩66
27Nicolas Höfler
22Roland Sallai ↩58
32Vincenzo Grifo
11Ermedin Demirović ↩57
18Nils Petersen ↩66
1Benjamin Uphoff
9Lucas Höler ↪57
31Keven Schlotterbeck ↪84
7Jonathan Schmid ↪58
8Baptiste Santamaría ↪66
14Guus Til
19Janik Haberer ↪66
28Kwon Chang-Hoon
29Jeong Woo-Yeong

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