In the defeat on Sunday in Altach, Michael Wimmer’s team once again gave away an early lead far too carelessly and were not lucky in the referee’s decisions either. “It’s not that easy to digest everything right now,” said sports director Manuel Ortlechner after the sixth league game in a row without a win.
The only success so far in the Bundesliga – a 2-0 win against Austria Lustenau – dates back to August 6th. The last sense of achievement to date was the 2-1 away win in the Conference League qualifiers at Legia Warsaw four days later. With just five points and six goals scored after eight rounds, Austria is only in tenth place – the last time the club was in such a bad position was in 2006, when the team was cheapened after Stronach’s announced exit. “It’s not Austria’s demands, Austria belongs higher up. We need points and we can’t manage that at the moment,” said coach Wimmer.
Altach exacerbates Austria’s crisis
SCR Cashpoint Altach celebrated a 2-1 (2-1) home win over Austria in the Admiral Bundesliga on Saturday after an early deficit, further exacerbating the Viennese crisis. While the Vorarlbergers are still in the race for a place in the championship group, the “Veilchen” slipped to tenth place.
“Brutal Disappointment” in purple
In Altach, the battered team was only able to briefly enjoy the lead through Johannes Handl (5th), after a quarter of an hour Altach had turned the game around. Despite the game being pleasant for long stretches, the Viennese team started their journey home without any points. “I am brutally disappointed. We get into the game well and take the lead. I thought the team would now get a boost and we would get through the game. But then we concede two easy goals and the game takes its course. If you get two goals every game, it becomes difficult to win a game,” said Wimmer.
GEPA/Oliver Lerch Wimmer not only struggled with his own mistakes in the “Ländle”, but also with the referees
There were also four penalty area scenes, all of which were decided against Austria. Mike Bähre used a hand penalty after a VAR check to score Altach’s winning goal (15th), referee Sebastian Gishamer surprisingly didn’t point to the spot in an attack on Hakim Guenouche despite VAR (34th), a handball by Atdhe Nuhiu was neither punished nor by Gishamer checked (40th). And then a Gruber goal was disallowed after a VAR check due to handball (77th).
“There were two penalties for us today. I can say that today,” said the Austria coach. Even his counterpart Joachim Standfest admitted: “If he whistles for a penalty, we get upset, but it would have been okay.” “All the decisions went against us. We have to accept that, but I can’t fully understand it,” said Ortlechner, who found encouraging words for his players instead of harsh criticism. “You have to praise the team, even if it sounds perverse. We performed really well.”
Dominik Fitz saw it similarly. “We were clearly the better team for 90 minutes and dominated. It looks stupid, but the way we played today wasn’t bad,” said the offensive player. Nevertheless, you could see Fitz’s anger and frustration with how the season had gone so far. “We are giving away goals and we have to stop that as quickly as possible. Otherwise it will be a very, very difficult season,” said the 24-year-old, referring to the emotional rollercoaster in the first quarter of an hour in Altach.
Forced optimism before Derby
In the middle of the serious crisis, the arch-rival is now waiting. Next Sunday (5 p.m.) the derby against Rapid will take place at home in Favoriten. Despite the recent downturn, the players’ confidence that a breakthrough will be achieved in the prestigious Vienna duel remains unbroken. “We have to make sure we get in front of the goal with more determination and defend better as a team. “I’m confident we’ll do better next week,” said Fitz. Sports director Ortlechner also remains optimistic: “We’ll see that we perform well again and then we’ll soon win again. I’m not worried that we won’t turn things around.”
The mood in Altach is completely different than in Favoriten. The Vorarlbergers improved to sixth place in the table and maintained their best start to the season in six years with eleven points from eight rounds. “We have had a good start to the season, but like today there is still a lot of room for improvement,” said Standfest. The Altach coach saw an “absolutely dirty victory” and was not satisfied with his team’s performance. “But in the end no one asks about it. There are three points that are extremely important,” said Standfest.