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Friday, March 31, 2023

“In the relegation battle, a single point can decide”

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SV Ried player and veteran Markus Lackner has a lot of experience in the relegation battle.
Image: GEPA pictures/ Hans Oberlaender
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“Such a sense of achievement is good for every footballer. There was great joy and relief at the win against Altach, but now it’s all about the next game”, says SV Ried player Markus Lackner. After eight games in a row, the Innviertler celebrated a deserved 2-1 away win in Altach on Sunday. With that you have it “red lantern”i.e. the bottom place in the table, handed over to the Vorarlbergers.

There is a high probability that nothing will change after the last round of the Bundesliga regular season on Sunday (5 p.m.) because Altach will have to play Salzburg away from home. Ried welcomes Wolfsberger AC on Sunday. With another sense of achievement, the starting position for the qualifying group could be improved a bit.

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For veteran Lackner – at 31, the central defender is the oldest player in the Ried squad – a familiar situation. “I know the relegation battle only too well, it has always accompanied me in my career so far at Admira (180 competitive games) and Ried (64 competitive games). I don’t know how it feels to become champions, but staying up as a relegation contender is certainly very similar in terms of emotions.”

When asked what virtues in “table basement” are particularly in demand, Lackner replies: “A lot happens in your head, you mustn’t get hectic and you have to go through the game plan. The will to fight is required.” The game against WAC is just as important as the following ten games, shared points or not: “You saw last season that a single point can make all the difference, so it’s even more important that we score against Wolfsberg.”

The fact that he was in the starting XI after the last six games without a match against Altach “of course very well done”says the 31-year-old. “Long periods without a game are difficult for every footballer, but almost every professional player knows that. Everyone wants to play, but whether I’m in the starting XI or not, I try to do my best in every training session. Anything else would be completely disrespectful to the team. I try to help and support the younger colleagues”, says Lackner, who is also part of the team council. With captain Marcel Ziegl and goalkeeper Samuel Sahin-Radlinger, two more experienced players should return in the coming weeks. “That’s extremely important for us, the comeback of these two players, who have such a huge bond with the club, will do us good. But they are also helping off the pitch to help us achieve our big goal of staying up in the league”says Lackner, who is away from the football field in the process of completing a distance learning course with a focus on business and sports.

“It’s a great balance and hopefully will give me something for the time after my active career”, says Lackner. It will be a while before that happens. In Ried, the 31-year-old has a contract until 2024. “I’ve never been relegated in my career, it should stay that way.”

Hoping for up to 4500 fans

Around 3,600 tickets had been sold for the game on Sunday by noon yesterday. “800 members of 62 music bands from all over Upper Austria will also be present on the ‘Day of Brass Music'”, says Tim Entenfellner, Head of Marketing at SV Ried. Overall, the SVR officials are hoping for up to 4,500 fans against the WAC.

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: Nachrichten

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