He is not a man of the past, Kohbauer said at an online media event marking his remarkable commitment. “I live here and now.” Revered as a fast icon, the 51-year-old promised the skeptics: “I’m now a LASK coach, which means 100 per cent for LASK. I’ll always do it that way. Before that, I was Rapid’s manager and it’s clear that both clubs have developed Discounts because of their quality.” In his view, this rivalry now takes the form: “I ruled.”
Kohbauer reported fruitful conversations with LASK directors about sporting director Radovan Vujanovic and above all club president Sigmund Gruber. “I agreed with the president on many points, so it was clear to me that I would sign here.” His contract runs until the end of the 2023/24 season.
Under Wieland, Linz lost 4-0 to WSG Tirol. The top Austrian team, who started the season with great ambitions, missed the tournament group and occupies only second place in the qualifying group. According to Kühbauer, the short-term goal is to secure the top spot in the qualifying group and thus preserve the international business opportunity through the league match. “The play-off in the new season should definitely be reached, that should be the goal,” Kohbauer said. “Of course, international involvement wouldn’t be the worst either.”
Regarding play, the new coach said: “The pressure is everywhere, but I don’t think we will constantly chase the ball in all areas.” As in his previous positions, Manfred Nestel will be brought with him as assistant coach, and he will make his first appearance on Saturday in the second leg against TS at Hartburg.
LASK’s director of sports, Radovan Vujanovic, expects a lot from Kühbauer, who has proven that he “can reach a team quickly and at the same time develop it further,” Vujanovic explained. “Not only his successes at Rapid, but his stats alone against LASK speak volumes for his qualities.” As a coach, Kohbauer played 14 matches against athletes, scoring eight wins, three draws and three defeats.
Kohbauer lost his job as Rapid coach in November after more than three years. Already on Tuesday he led the training at the new employer for the first time. And he asked for a period of acclimatization, even though he knows “all of them, of course.” His thoughts on the future team also remained a secret on Tuesday. According to Kühbauer, he first wanted to give all players the opportunity to audition.
As a professional, Kühbauer made 55 caps and played abroad at Real Sociedad and VfL Wolfsburg, with Rapid becoming champion, cup winner, European Cup finalist and Champions League participant. As a coach, he led Admira and WAC to the European Cup. For SKN St. Pölten, Kühbauer laid the groundwork to jump into the main group in fall 2019 before switching to Rapid. With the Hütteldorfers, Kühbauer was a runner-up twice, and Rapid twice bought a Europa League group stage ticket.
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