Played well, lost again: For Adi Hütter, the situation at Borussia Mönchengladbach is getting dicey. Now the relegation battle begins.
Adi Hütter avoided the word relegation battle as much as possible. But the coach of Borussia Mönchengladbach has known at least since the fourth home bankruptcy in a row what the hour has come. “Now there are two games against direct competitors. We absolutely have to score points there,” said the Austrian after the 1-2 (1-1) loss to Union Berlin. Those competitors are Arminia Bielefeld and FC Augsburg.
Even during the winter break, one or the other in Borussia Park had been dreaming of the European Cup. But that, Hütter made clear, is now over.
Because three days after the cup embarrassment against second division Hannover 96 (0: 3) the next “neck” (Hütter) followed and Gladbach is playing its worst season in eleven years, only survival counts – also for the coach.
Hütter, who was brought from Frankfurt for 7.5 million euros, still feels the confidence of Max Eberl, who, like in Hanover, was absent on Saturday because he was ill. “When I talk to those responsible, they make me feel good,” said the Gladbach coach before kicking off the “Sky” microphone and added: “But I’m also aware and clear that we’ll get results as soon as possible have to bring.”
Such a result in the form of a win would have been possible against Union, maybe even deserved. After the equalizer by Manu Kone (40th), Gladbach was on the pressure and had a great chance to score the winning goal through Luca Netz in the 77th minute – but ex-Gladbacher Max Kruse (84th) scored it a little later on the other side before the break with a hand penalty (18th). “This is the run we have,” said Hütter resignedly.
Gladbach last suffered four home defeats in a row in 2010/11, when Michael Frontzeck had to go and Lucien Favre came. It’s not that far yet, but fate isn’t kind to the foals.
Hofmann eaten: “It pisses you off”
Gladbach was awarded four penalties in the last three competitive games, not all of which were clear. And to make matters worse, captain Lars Stindl is now out for several weeks due to an inner ligament injury.
No wonder the team was pissed off too. “We give it back at the end, and that pisses you off,” said national player Jonas Hofmann: “We worked, fought, threw ourselves in, we deserved the win. But at the crucial moment we weren’t awake and are back with empty ones hands there.”
All the praise for the courageous performance was good, but it wasn’t worth much in the end. Hütter now has two weeks to prepare his team, which is not at all prepared for a relegation battle, for future tasks. First Bielefeld, then Augsburg – Gladbach’s opponents at eye level are currently playing in the bottom third of the table.