ÖFB team boss Rangnick drew this conclusion after the international doubles in Linz

ÖFB team boss Rangnick drew this conclusion after the international doubles in Linz
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Austria Estonia European Championship qualification Raiffeisenarena Linz

Austria Estonia European Championship qualification Raiffeisenarena Linz Image: Albert Mikovits (pictureshooting.AT)

The duty is in. The Austrians go into the Schlager in June in Belgium and against Sweden as table leaders with the maximum of six points after two games in the European Championship qualifier. “It was clear from the start that you should start with two wins from these two home games,” said Rangnick after the opening double against Azerbaijan (4-1) and Estonia. “What wasn’t clear was that so many players would be out.” The German spoke of six to seven starting eleven players who were not available. In addition to Marko Arnautovic and Xaver Schlager, Maximilian Wöber and Gernot Trauner were missing against the Estonians. Captain David Alaba was substituted on his comeback, Marcel Sabitzer not to be on the safe side.

“I don’t count myself among the coaches who complain about absences,” emphasized Rangnick. We had to cope with many setbacks in the past few days. “Every morning, when I came down to breakfast, I hoped that the doctor wouldn’t come back to my table and tell me about the next failure. From that point of view, the victory has to be rated even higher.”

Especially since the Estonians were up against a very disciplined opponent. “They are tactically extremely compact and closed,” said Rangnick about number 109 in the FIFA world rankings. “We have to win the second leg and our group opponents first.” It was “anything but a matter of course” to have shot the game. “That’s why I think it will bond us even more for the next games and give us strength and energy again.”

Video: After beating Azerbaijan, coach Ralf Rangnick’s team celebrated a 2-1 win against Estonia in Linz on Monday.

That was agreed with Real Madrid

The next international match is on June 17 in Brussels against Belgium, and three days later it’s against Sweden in Vienna. The two main competitors in Group F are initially three points behind the ÖFB team. The Belgians won their only game in Sweden so far, 3-0. A loss of points against the Estonians would have been a major setback for Austria. “I didn’t tremble,” assured Rangnick, referring to his changes at half-time. He brought in Alaba for debutant Flavius ​​Daniliuc (“He did a good job”) and with Junior Adamu as the second penalty area striker, a system change to 4-1-3-2.

After his muscle injury in his thigh, Alaba shouldn’t have come into play until the 60th or 65th minute. According to Rangnick, this was also discussed with Real Madrid. The team boss saw it as “important” to have the 30-year-old on the field earlier. “We’re not in a bad position with the other changes either.” Florian Kainz scored to make it 1-1 seven minutes after he came on as a substitute, and despite his missed penalty, Rangnick let the winning scorer Michael Gregoritsch the full distance on the field – only for the third time in his 45th international match.

Rangnick revealed that Gregoritsch had already been scheduled to score a penalty against Azerbaijan together with Sabitzer. “Of course the old rule of thumb applies: the fouled person should not shoot.” Gregoritsch would have spoken to the team again after the end of the game and promised to invite them to dinner at the next meeting. “David (Alaba) said it would be expensive.”

Sabitzer was out of the question as a shooter because of knee problems. “He wasn’t free in the joint, could have done everything with control. That’s not possible in a game like this,” said Rangnick. The decision was difficult for him after Sabitzer’s appearance against Azerbaijan (two goals and one assist). As a club coach, however, he was always annoyed by national coaches who “more or less didn’t care” about what happened to players at their clubs. “It’s also about his career,” said Rangnick about Manchester United legionnaire Sabitzer. “Looking back, you can say we did everything right.”

“The fans were always there”

According to Rangnick, Linz also proved to be “right on the money” as a location for the opening double. “The fans were always there, of course especially in those moments when the team transferred the energy to the crowd.” Both games were sold out with 16,500 spectators. “The pitch was better than I feared,” said Rangnick. “Not Wembley but still good enough for the kind of football we wanted to play.”

This was characterized more by pressing than playful moments. According to the data service provider Opta, Austria has captured an average of eleven balls per game in the opposing third of defense in the previous European Championship qualifiers – more than any other team. Several top chances were missed against Estonia when the score was 0-0.

The ÖFB team made it difficult for themselves, said Rangnick. “There were phases where it was really annoying. It was difficult even when watching.” But his team always brought enormous energy to the pitch. “Of course it’s better if you create chances like this. But we still scored six goals in two games.” Even without record team player Arnautovic, ex aequo the second best scorer in association history.

Source: Nachrichten

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