“As long as there is a theoretical chance, you have to believe it,” the Hoffenheim player said in Vienna on Monday. After all, the chances of at least making the play-offs in March 2022 are good, as the Nations League group won last year. “This is the little back door we worked for. But first and foremost, there is a focus on direct competency,” Baumgartner said. But you needed victories in the upcoming games against Moldova, Israel and Scotland.
After three rounds, OFB Selection is fourth with four points after a win, a draw and defeat and a fairly poor goal difference behind Denmark (9), Scotland (5) and Israel (4). “We know how the starting position is and we should get nine points,” said the Lower Austrian. “We have three tough games ahead of us, but we want to take the pace from EM.”
FB team shaken by injury concerns
In World Cup qualification, next rival Moldova team boss Franco Foda is less bothered by injury concerns in his squad. After Lenner, Kalaczyk and Baumgartlinger, Xaver Schlager and Marcel Sabitzer are also out now.
EM appearance leaves an impression
Baumgartner’s adoption home received much acclaim for its European Championship round of 16 and performance against eventual champions Italy. “The Germans were happy for us, but you saw again that nothing was trusted in Germany. Sometimes it seemed that we had made progress as a very small group,” said the 22-year-old.
FB selection now has a large pool of players, which means that traumatic failures such as Xaver Schlager, Stefan Lainer, Sasa Kalajdzic, Marsel Sabitzer and Julian Baumgartlinger may be compensated halfway. “Of course it hurts that they fail, but there’s no point in fighting. We can’t change that anyway and we have to do our best with the players out there.”
Baumgartner said the current team was “really good” despite the major absence. “We have the luxury problem in Austria that we have very good players. We are fully capable of these three games.” The FB team had a luxury problem in the European Championships, especially in the middle midfield, when many top -Class players were fighting for some places in the starting line-up.
Multiple candidates for one position in Headquarters
Meanwhile the situation is different: Baumgartlinger, Schlager and Sabitzer are also injured, at least for some time, Florian Gryllitz didn’t have a minute of action this season, Konrad Laimer scored only 74 runs in four matches. “But we still have some who can hold the position. Maybe it will be the case that someone plays a six that doesn’t have a regular position there,” Baumgartner said.
His Hoffenheim club colleague Grillitz has been linked with a move to Italy in the past few weeks and was battling minor injuries. “Unfortunately, due to injuries he kept getting setbacks and he was not able to really get match practice. Baumgartner said of his close compatriot, he has yet to have match practice, which includes others, but he has already participated in some units.
The two completed a contingency training session at the Generali Arena on Monday evening before leaving for Chisinau on Tuesday morning. “The program is very tense and the preparation time is extremely short. But we know what the coach wants from us and in the shortest possible time we will try to put the puzzle as together as possible and be against Moldova,” promised Baumgartner.
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