Opposing emotions in the RheinEnergieStadion at the final whistle: Whilst the 0-1 defeat to FC Köln marked VfL coach Martin Schmidt’s second defeat in fourteen games at the helm, the hosts, with caretaker-coach Stefan Ruthenbeck celebrated their first win of the Bundesliga campaign in the final game before the winter break. Both coaches were agreed that the win for FC was deserved, as the ‘Geißböcke‘ were cleverer and more aggressive over long periods.
The coaches reactions to the game
Stefan Ruthenbeck: The game was ultimately decided by the quality of the challenges, which were mainly conducted in the midfield and in the wide positions. We played a good pressing game and we closed down the spaces well. We knew our opponents would be looking for room to operate in and that it would be difficult to defend if we allowed them to do that. We managed that over almost the entire ninety minutes and also continually pressed forward on the break. We deservedly took the lead, as we also had some good chances before scoring. It’s our first win of the entire season, so we have no reason to become too euphoric. The team rewarded themselves for their efforts, not more and no less than that!
Martin Schmidt: We came to Cologne with a clear goal – to win the game! We wanted to dominate with possession, get in behind the opposition back four and we also had a plan as to how we would do that. Unfortunately our passing was too imprecise early on and the pace of our passing wasn’t what we are used to. At that stage, things did not go as we had intended them too and we thus invited Köln to hit on the break. The cost us some self-belief and gave out opponents a boost. At the break, we reminded the team what we wanted to do and achieve. We only really showed a reaction following the goal and then we proved we can play good football on the attack. That came all too late though and we didn’t really deserve to take a point away from here tonight. What happened here is something we can learn from. We need to learn that we have a lot of work ahead of us when playing away from home. Congratulation to FC Köln on the win.