Schmidt: “It will be a brutal season for us”

The promoted team 1. FC Heidenheim has arrived in the Bundesliga, but coach Frank Schmidt’s team is mainly struggling with an away problem.

Demands especially away from home

Demands “even better decisions,” especially away from home: Heidenheim’s coach Frank Schmidt.

IMAGO/Jan Huebner

Last season, 34 points were needed to stay in the league, 33 led to relegation. In this respect, the calculation made by Heidenheim’s coach Frank Schmidt is working so far. “We think in stages and have only seven of 34 behind us, and as long as we have the same number of points as stages, we are on the right track,” explains the 49-year-old, who scored an average of one point per match day with the FCH and currently five clear of the relegation places, “but we know it will be a brutal season for us in which we always have to be in the border area to get anything.”

Away not fast enough in my head

He still sees his newcomers in the getting used to phase, after all it’s not just the club that is being challenged for the first time in the Bundesliga, but also most of the players. “The speed of action, the anticipation of second balls, we are still a bit behind,” admits Schmidt, “we have a hard time with that, especially away from home.”

After all, progress could already be seen in Frankfurt in the fourth attempt, because in the first three away games the FCH fell behind after just a few minutes and was on the losing end. The Heidenheimers were only able to beat the sloppy favorites in the 2-2 draw in Dortmund endanger.

We played with two strikers and didn’t hide.

At Eintracht, the guests were equal and in the game longer than usual. “We did a lot better this time and had the confidence to defend high and go forward,” noted Schmidt, “we also played with two strikers and didn’t hide. There was the chance, with a little more calm and control, to score the goal.”

Nevertheless, as the game went on, Heidenheim found itself at the mercy of increasing pressure from Frankfurt, which ultimately inevitably led to chances and goals conceded. Even though the hosts missed a penalty, things still went their way. There is still a clear difference to be seen between the away appearances and the home games, in which the Heidenheimers appear much more self-confident, without shyness and with conviction. That’s missing away from home – still.

Schmidt is hoping for “even better decisions” soon

“You also have to look at where we played: in Wolfsburg, in Dortmund, in Leverkusen, in Frankfurt. As promoted teams for the first time in the Bundesliga, most of us had no experience,” says Schmidt, “we shouldn’t be so presumptuous that “We’re developing so quickly to be on a par with Frankfurt and outplay them. We have to earn everything hard,” emphasizes Schmidt. “We have to develop away from home, but that’s far from being a top issue. But we have to adapt and learn what the Bundesliga means, how to make even better decisions under space and time pressure.”

Games of 1. FC Heidenheim

Away it’s more about bonus points. “In the end we will have to get the lion’s share at home. Now we continue at home, we want to win the next stage,” assures the FCH coach, then the faltering FC Augsburg will be guests at the Schlossberg, their first appearance of the FCA after the change of coach, that shouldn’t make things any easier for the Heidenheimers, who should have won all three games in front of their own audience.

Only against Hoffenheim (2:3) did the thread and the game get lost after a 2-0 lead and further great chances to score. In contrast, six points were scored against Bremen (4:2) and Union Berlin (1:0). “The path is right, we win a stage every now and then, if we manage to do that right up to the end, we will also achieve our season goal and cross the finish line in a good place,” predicts Schmidt.

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