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Rangnick confident of European Championship after wake-up call in Switzerland

Rangnick confident of European Championship after wake-up call in Switzerland

Ralf Rangnick was delighted with the wake-up call nine days before his European Championship opener against France. The Austrian national football team coach was not satisfied with the first half of training on Saturday in Switzerland (1:1). The German lacked the energy that was essential to his approach to the match. “It really bothers me,” Rangnick said. Since such behavior in the ÖFB team is an exception rather than the rule, he is confident of participating in the European Championship.

He added: “If we play like we did here in the first half against France, it will be bitter.” “We have no chance,” Rangnick said. But he is convinced that he can also achieve success against strong opponents in the European Championship. “We can only win in this Group.” If you want an estimate of the odds, you should ask the betting shop about the odds. “I don't think we are in the top two of the group.”

After the French (June 17), Poland (June 21) and the Netherlands (June 25) await. “If we play with the right energy level, I am confident that we can perform well against the major countries in our group,” Rangnick said. He added: “It is not easy to create scoring opportunities for us.” Switzerland also had to acknowledge this, as they lacked the ability to score without injured striker Breel Embolo.

Rangnick was particularly lacking in the desire to run in the first half. “There were very few moves where we were ahead.” For the pressure required of him, the first race should have been right. “But there was no first race at all. We missed the basic virtues that characterize our game.” His message at the break: “It doesn't work with a little. There's no such thing as being a little pregnant. Whether it's true or not at all, there's no other way in our style of play.”

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Rangnick doubted that the explanation for the drop in performance was primarily in the minds of his players. “We were travelling, and it was the last game before the Euros. Then no one wanted to get injured anymore, and they had won six games in a row before that. “Everyone is praising us to the heavens. Now we're suddenly one of the secret candidates – and then suddenly we're doing a little less. “This may be a humanitarian thing, but it does not help us.”

The 65-year-old said he was glad the rehearsal went the way it did. “What is important is that the team noticed that after switching to fifth, sixth or even seventh gear, the game was completely different, and there was still room for improvement in the offensive game.” “I am far from saying that everything is perfect, but he is convinced that he can create enough scoring chances with the best team currently.” “That's the least of my worries. But we need everyone to participate if possible.”

With David Alaba, Xavier Schlager and now goalkeeper Alexander Schlager, three key players have already been out of the tournament with knee injuries. Rangnick spoke of a “luxury problem” at centre-back, especially since Gernot Trauner and Philipp Lienhardt are available again alongside Kevin Danso and Maximilian Woeber. “Three weeks ago it seemed completely different.” Trauner played a solid game in St. Gallen, and Lenhart started a game for the first time since December. However, his left foot in build-up play could speak for Wöber alongside Danso.

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Substitute Florian Grealic brought calm to the midfield. “If he plays like this, he is a completely serious candidate for the starting lineup,” Rangnick said. “We have to replace Xaver Schlager. One possibility is definitely that Grillo will play center.” The alternative is to withdraw Konrad Laimer and rely on Patrick Wimmer or Romano Schmid on the wings.

In the midfield are full-backs Stefan Bosch, Philipp Moeni, Nicholas Seewald, Laimer, Christoph Baumgartner and Marcel Sabitzer, who survived the test matches, in addition to striker Michael Gregoritsch. In goal, Patrick Bentz appears to be ahead of Heinz Lindner. But Rangnick didn't want to commit to T just yet: “I haven't decided yet, there's still enough time in Berlin.”

ÖFB players must move to the emerging quarters on Wednesday afternoon (1pm). Rangnick recommended that they do things that are good for their souls and psyches during the three days of vacation until then. “Let go of what bothers you and what stresses you out.” He also wants to commit to it himself. “We have to start with full battery on June 12.” The European Championships that we host are of course something special for him as a German player. Clearly, the anticipation outweighs the tension. “It's my first time as team boss and we're all really looking forward to it.”

Murat Yakin believes the Austrians will qualify for a tough Group D. The Swiss team president was impressed by ÖFB's style of play. “They play an incredibly fast and intense game at the highest level.” You can see Rangnick's handwriting when he brings dynamism to the pitch. Yakin: “It was also good to face such an opponent live and not just in front of the TV.”

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