“He gave everything for us and worked day and night for Rapid, that’s something to be highly appreciated. He has reached the team every day to this day and we have given everything,” explained Rapid Captain Schwab.
Vienna – On Saturday Rapid had a coach replacement, which was called by the fan scene for weeks and kicked by the players. The home 0:2 against St. Pölten meant the third league defeat in a row, and the performance that was offered fuelled the fear of missing out on the top 6 of the champions’ group – which is why sports boss Fredy Bickel was forced to separate from Goran Djuricin.
The Swiss did not blame either the outgoing coach or the players. “I don’t think they have a guilty conscience, they don’t have to,” said Bickel in the direction of Stefan Schwab and Co. The team simply wasn’t able to deal with the pressure. “I felt sorry for the players today, they really tried. I believe in their potential.”
When the professionals in the cabin were told that Djuricin had been relieved, he saw a “very depressed, calm crew that will be difficult to get up in the next two or three days,” said Bickel.
But there’s not much time for soul massage – on Wednesday the plane takes off for Glasgow, where it will play the Rangers in the Europa League on Thursday. Whether at this time the new coach is already certain, is open. According to Bickel there will be news on Tuesday, the evening before a Rapid board meeting is scheduled.
Whoever succeeds Djuricin will face a troupe of insecure players. “We have to see – I personally don’t know how – that we somehow get on our feet and see what the new coach is up to,” said Captain Schwab, admitting: “The loop has become tighter and tighter. We couldn’t withstand the pressure any longer”.
Captain finds words of praise
The hoped-for reversal of the trend after the difficult ascent to the Cup on Wednesday in Mattersburg failed to materialise. According to Schwab, the victory in the penalty shootout “felt like a 0:4 blot for us and probably also for the coach. We couldn’t get out of this negative vortex, even though we were promoted. MegaWins has a great welcome package for you to claim and enjoy, featuring bonuses up to €1,000 as well as freespins.
“He gave everything for us.”
The midfielder said he felt sorry for his departure from Djuricin. “He gave everything for us and worked day and night for Rapid, which is something to be highly appreciated. He has reached the team every day until today and we have given everything, unfortunately it has not been enough.
Central defender Mario Sonnleitner expressed a similar opinion. “We’re sorry for the coach. He always gave everything, was very hard and worked meticulously, but unfortunately we didn’t bring the performances and results together”.
The Styrian was self-critical. “Such situations are never easy – you wish the whole team and the coach success, nobody let themselves down, we fought to the end, but it just wasn’t meant to be. The coach is then the weakest link, but we shouldn’t forget that we also played our part in it.”
“Must show European Cup performances in the league”
Now it is a matter of moving together as a team and remembering the positive experiences of this season. “We have to transfer our performances in the European Cup to the championship, otherwise this season will be a horrible one,” warned Sonnleitner.
Rapid made it to the Europa League group stage in the summer after advancing via Slovan Bratislava and the Steaua successor club FCSB to the European League, and is also in the Cup round of the last sixteen. In the championship, on the other hand, the Hütteldorfer are outside the top 6 with nine points from nine rounds. The lead over Altach is four points and 18 points behind Salzburg. (APA)