Manuel Baum: We’re heading in the right direction

Three days after the away game at FC Augsburg, FC Schalke 04 are back in Bundesliga action. The Royal Blues will host SC Freiburg in the VELTINS-Arena on Wednesday night (16/12), with head coach Manuel Baum without three players for the important clash.

Manuel Baum

“Three players will definitely miss out tomorrow: Frederik Rönnow, Goncalo Paciencia and Mark Uth,” reported Manuel Baum at the pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s game against SC Freiburg (18:30 CET). Ahmed Kutucu, who has been out recently, is however an option after returning to training last week. “He’s looked fit and will be in the squad for sure,” revealed Baum.

Amine Harit, who missed the game against Augsburg with a slight knee problem, is also available again. Baum wouldn’t reveal whether or not the 23-year-old Moroccan would replace Uth in attacking midfield though. “Amine could play as a number 10, as could Can Bozdogan. We have several options,” said Baum, who also had praise for another youngster. “Nassim Boujellab did a really good job against Augsburg.”

Bounce back from setbacks

The fact that Boujellab’s goal in Augsburg on Sunday wasn’t enough for the three points is still frustrating Baum. The late equaliser in added time was a disappointing blow, but Baum wants to make sure the team will bounce back from that setback. “We’re heading in the right direction,” said the head coach. “I’m certain that our chances of winning are becoming even greater. Against Augsburg, you could see that we had a real team on the pitch.” As well as that, the S04 coach believes his players are performing better week in, week out and they are physically strong too. The 41-year-old wants his side to play at a high intensity against Freiburg, commenting “this is a requirement against a team like Freiburg.”

With two home games to finish the Bundesliga in 2020, Baum is hoping for two wins. “Our aim was to take seven points from the final three games, so it’s clear what we want from these final two matches,” stressed the S04 head coach ahead of the double header against Freiburg and Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

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