Germany: Bundesliga
1 - 2
(1 - 0)
K. Sildillia (64), X R. Sallai (87)
S. Bornauw (41), M. Arnold (82), M. Lacroix (90)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Streich gives injury update on Röhl, addresses "cult trainer" status

There were plenty of laughs to be had at one of retiring SC Freiburg gaffer Christian Streich's final pre-match pressers on Thursday afternoon.

The 58-year-old nevertheless did have some unfortunate news to report when it came to the injury status of Germany U21 star Merlin Röhl. 

German journalists found their eyes entertained and their fingers busy covering what will be the fourth-to-last pre-match presser involving retiring head-coach Christian Streich on Thursday afternoon. For starters, the 58-year-old made his age known when asked what he thought about his status as one of German football's "cult trainers". Streich proceeded to rattle off the famous members of the "Rolling Stones" in order to brush off the talk.

"Cult is Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood," Streich said before inventing his very own new German word, "They're 'cult'. I'm a 'mini-icon'. That should be brought into context. Such people are icons. That's a different dimension. I'm just a guy who has coached a football team for a few years."

"Nothing to feel wistful about," Streich responded when asked if he was feeling a little emotional or melancholic about his impending departure, "No such thing. I have interest in traveling to Wolfsburg. I made the decision. Everything is right. No regrets. Everything moves on in a positive sense."

Streich's mien remained serious when fielding the question about his emotions. Things nevertheless got comical again when Streich was asked to tune into a remote question from a journalistic on a speaker phone placed on the mic table. Straining to hear the reporter and carrying a face like an ant trying to figure out how to work a television set, Streich eventually comprehended that the reporter wished to ask about Freiburg's record against Wolfsburg.

"I don't think that sounds bad for Freiburg," Streich said when he figured out that the journalist was asking if he was concerned that Freiburg had only won eight times (and drawn four times) in 23 games against Wolfsburg, "Don't you realize that you're connected with Freiburg and not Bayern München? You're talking to someone in Breisgau. Given that we're talking about Wolfsburg, I think that's a good record. I'm very satisfied." 

For all the laughs, there was some somber news to report concerning 21-year-old attacker Merlin Röhl. The successful Germany U21 international is suffering from a muscle tear incurred in last week's draw with Mainz. Röhl looks to be out for at least three weeks and may be sidelined for the rest of the season. Streich noted that Röhl's "dynamism, speed, and physicality" would be missed. 

Hungarian attacker Roland Sallai presumably stands ready to replace Röhl in the starting XI against Wolfsburg on Saturday. There are rumors that Röhl's emergence leaves club and player seeking to shop Sallai for a summer transfer. The 26-year-old's current contract in Breisgau expires at the end of next season. 

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