Profimannschaft 03/08/2019, 01:51 PM
© Bildagentur Zolles KG © Bildagentur Zolles KG

GRÜNWALD WANTS TO LEAD THE TEAM TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

80 percent duel rate, 50 ball contacts and the important goal to the 2-1 against Hartberg. The captain is back, and Austria Wien is back on the winning road. Alexander Grünwald talks about his Bundesliga comeback after a 133-day injury break and the upcoming home game against Altach (Sunday, 5pm), in which Austria Wien could finally secure their participation in the championship round with a victory.

© Bildagentur Zolles KG Grünwald wants to lead the team to the championship round

The door to the championship group of the top six teams is wide open for the now third ranked ‘Violets’ after the 4-2 against TSV Hartberg. "The first step has been done, we can top this on Sunday," emphasizes Alex Grünwald. Together with the ‘Violets’, six more teams are still hoping for one of the four starting places behind RB Salzburg and LASK. The seven are within seven points.

"We proved that the team is intact"

Just as against Hartberg we have to focus on ourselves, on our game. Alex Grünwald

For Grünwald some side effects are more important than snapshots or the opponent’s chances. "It was important to prove that the team is intact. And the fans have seen that the team has a great will to win," emphasizes the routineer.

The statistic before the 30th league duel with Altach proves that we have been far better against Altach at home (10-2-2/30-13) than away (4-2-9/12-22). The ‘Violets’ want to use this home strength on Sunday. The fact that the opponent just let go coach Werner Grabherr and is instead coached by the temporary promoted assistant Wolfgang Luisser (39), doesn’t play a big part in the preparation for the game:

"We have to focus on ourselves, on our game. That's what we did during the game against Hartberg and we were ultimately rewarded for it," says Grünwald. The team gained self-confidence by defeating Hartberg with ten men.

"Can’t imagine a better comeback in the starting line-up"

© Bildagentur Zolles KG
Grünwald about his celebration © Bildagentur Zolles KG

Last Sunday Grünwald scored just 87 seconds after the equalizer with his fifth goal of the season for the important 2-1 lead and admitted afterwards, "I can’t imagine a better comeback in the starting line-up."

After his goal, the 59th in his 232nd competitive match for Austria Wien, emotions overwhelmed him, accompanied by standing ovations and chants he ran to the corner flag, put his hand on the FAK crest and brushed down his football socks, to show his knee with blue tape.

"I was hurting a bit the week before and spent a lot of effort to play against Hartberg and I was rewarded for it," said our man with the number ten on the jersey after 69 minutes when he made room for Vesel Demaku.

Pentz about Grünwald: "He is a leader"

© Bildagentur Zolles KG
Great stat: 80 percent duel rate © Bildagentur Zolles KG

Alex is important, the leader, goalkeeper Patrick Pentz praises his captain. "He pushes everyone, even more when outnumbered like after Igor’s suspension, he gives instructions." And then to score the 2-1 during the important phase, is simply outstanding.

He adds that they missed someone who simply takes up the courage. "However, Grüni is known for having an extraordinary long-range shot with his left foot anyway," Pentz said as the scorer was treated on the massage table.

"If he always delivers on the pitch, he can get massaged for hours," joked our goalie. The 29-year-old has honestly earned the treatment. His 80 percent duel rate and 50 ball contacts against Hartberg impressively demonstrate that.

Standings
Pos. Team Games Points
1. FC Red Bull Salzburg 31 49
2. LASK 31 37
3. RZ Pellets WAC 31 28
4. FK Austria Wien 31 27
5. SK Puntigamer Sturm Graz 31 24
6. spusu SKN St. Pölten 31 21
Pos. Team Games Points
1. SK Rapid Wien 31 32
2. SV Mattersburg 31 28
3. CASHPOINT SCR Altach 31 25
4. FC Flyeralarm Admira 31 22
5. TSV Prolactal Hartberg 31 19
6. FC Wacker Innsbruck 31 17
» View Full Table