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Rangnick has found his “core” for the European Championships

Rangnick has found his “core” for the European Championships
Team boss Ralf Rangnick

Team boss Ralf Rangnick praised the clear improvements in the second half after Saturday’s 2-0 win in Slovakia. In the absence of the injured David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic, some new players would have come forward. Romano Schmid and Andreas Weimann, for example, have good chances of getting a place in the European Championship squad.

Record goal from Baumgartner

Everything was outshined by Christoph Baumgartner, who scored the fastest goal in history in a men’s international match after six seconds. “But you also have to score the second goal first. That was fantastic,” said Rangnick. Schmid served Weimann, both of whom received special praise after a strong week of training in Marbella. “Romano is in great form, also at Werder Bremen. He is a player who is currently knocking on the first team with his self-confidence.”

  • Also read: 2:0 – This record goal after 7 seconds will be remembered

Weimann proved in his first international match since the end of 2022 that he is “simply a snapper,” as the team boss put it. “He makes balls like that, he also does them in training.” The 32-year-old from English second division club West Bromwich Albion would have had some other good scenes too. “I was extremely happy for him. He justified both his nomination and his substitution.”

In central defense, three potential regular players, Alaba, Philipp Lienhart and Gernot Trauner, were missing due to injuries. Debutant Leopold Querfeld was in trouble after an early yellow card. “It was a tightrope act so that he didn’t get a yellow-red card. It was difficult for him in the first ten minutes. Nevertheless, he did well after that,” said Rangnick about the Rapid youngster.

  • More on the subject: From Rangnick to goalscorer Baumgartner: First reactions after the friendly against Slovakia

Maximilian Wöber came into the game at the break. The left-footer in the center of defense was obviously good for the ÖFB game. “At the moment it seems obvious to let him play inside,” explained Rangnick. This will most likely also be the case on Tuesday (8.45 p.m./live ORF 1) in the next test in Vienna against Turkey. Phillipp Mwene and Stefan Posch are the first choice on the wings. “We already have such a core – a ‘stable core’, as the English say.” Rangnick also includes the midfield with Nicolas Seiwald, Xaver Schlager, Konrad Laimer, Marcel Sabitzer and Baumgartner as well as striker Michael Gregoritsch.

With this staff, even without the two big stars, they managed to achieve their fourth clean sheet win in a row. “It’s clear that we would all much, much prefer if David Alaba wasn’t injured and Marko Arnautovic wasn’t injured as often as he is right now,” emphasized Rangnick. “Both are players who are good for us and help us. It is also clear that David cannot be replaced equally as captain. We have to deal with the situation.” Especially since Alaba is in danger of missing out on the European Championships after tearing his cruciate ligament.

Too many mistakes in the first half

Despite the 2-0 away win against the European Championship participants in Bratislava, his colleagues were largely self-critical. “The boys can assess for themselves how their performance is. They also deal with the situation honestly,” assured Rangnick. “It wasn’t a good first half, apart from the first six and a half seconds. They were of course fantastic.”

Too many playback errors were made before the break. “But they weren’t always ‘unforced’,” Rangnick used tennis language. “Slovakia did well. It wasn’t easy for us to find the right means. That’s why the first half was slow, as they say in Austrian. But we drew the right conclusions from it in the second half.” In anticipation of the EURO, the Austria fans who had traveled along were already chanting “Berlin, Berlin, we’re going to Berlin!”

Preparing for the Turkey game

After the end of the game, the ÖFB team took the bus to Vienna, where they will now spend two days preparing for the Turkey game. “It will certainly be an emotional game. I still hope that it will be sold out,” said Rangnick. More than 10,000 tickets would still be available. “There will certainly be a good atmosphere,” said the team boss. Due to the Turkish fans, a “neutral-like situation” can be expected in the Ernst Happel Stadium, as at the EURO. “That’s why the game makes perfect sense from our point of view.”

European Championship start on June 17th

Rangnick is aiming for a home win, the second in a row against a big opponent after the 2-0 win against Germany at the end of the year. “Sure, we want to continue our series. We also want to win this game at home. If we manage to keep a clean sheet again, we absolutely have a chance.” There are still three test matches left before the start of the European Championship against France on June 17th, and Rangnick wants to play each one in the best possible way. “In the end, it’s results sport.” The fourth game in a row without conceding a goal gives a good feeling.

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