Copyright: Herbert Bucco
After the comeback win against Mainz, 1. FC Köln are right in the middle of the race for a place in the European Cup. Mark Uth dreams, Steffen Baumgart puts his finger in the wound.
For a long time, the E word was taboo at Geißbockheim – now the first FC professional is saying what the whole of Cologne dreams of: “I really want to go to Europe,” said Mark Uth (30) after the amazing win against Mainz. For the big goal, coach Steffen Baumgart (50) demands a clear increase from the derby!
With the Uth announcement, the hunt for international business has officially begun. No wonder after the comeback spectacle against Mainz. On Saturday afternoon (April 9, 2022), FC turned a 2-0 deficit into a win for the first time since December 2019 (4-2 in Frankfurt).
The Baumgart team is on course for a record with 43 points and only needs seven points for the best FC season since the three-point rule was introduced. In the Europe year under Peter Stöger (55), Cologne was only at the magical 40th
Mark Uth: 1. FC Köln “very, very close to Europe”
Uth grinning: “We are very, very close to Europe. We want to win the games and I don’t want to announce anything here now, then I’ll get the broadside from the coach again – but we all dream of it.”
Thomas Kessler (36) smiles at the words of the offensive man, says: “He has four weeks’ vacation in the summer and the travel regulations are now relatively relaxed in terms of the pandemic. Then he can travel to every city on the continent.”
So the licensed player manager is making fun of Uth, and there is no trouble from the coach for the euro announcement. “We can talk about it, anyone can do it, we don’t forbid it,” said Baumgart. But he wants to see a different performance in the remaining five matchdays than in the first 60 minutes against Mainz!
Because his FC looked like the sure loser. Despite the crazy comeback, Cologne’s coach puts his finger in the wound after the eleventh success of the season: “We’re happy to take the win with us, but he was happy. We must not turn a blind eye to the mistakes we have made. Neither will we. We’ll definitely go for it and see that we can do better next time.”
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Kessler also agrees: “We should go into the analysis more intensively this week. We got the full spectrum of what can happen if we don’t stick to our match plan.”
Steffen Baumgart: “It’s hot again in the derby”
When they conceded, the FC defense switched much too slowly, the offensive was even more disappointing – at times the team seemed as if they were playing together for the first time. That was more reminiscent of the past horror season than Steffen Baumgart’s full-throttle football.
The FC coach criticized: “We did win one or the other ball, but we weren’t able to play cleanly. Those were unfortunate mistakes in the build-up game, but the pressure wasn’t so great that you had to make mistakes. Of course you don’t manage to play your way forward that way.”
But thanks to its mega mentality, FC stayed in seventh place, which could already be enough for the Conference League, and reduced the gap to sixth place. Uth says: “We don’t give up.” But big dreams…
Baumgart looks ahead: “We have a derby next week, so things will get hot again. I would wish that we didn’t have to replace six people every week, but that everyone would be there. And then we’ll see.”
After the bang at Borussia Mönchengladbach (April 16, 6:30 p.m.), Bielefeld, Augsburg, Wolfsburg and Stuttgart are the only opponents who are far behind Cologne in the table. And one thing is clear: If FC climbs further towards Europe with their arch-rivals, there will be no limits to the euphoria!