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WAC's dismal record shouldn't be a problem.

WAC's dismal record shouldn't be a problem.

Eight of the previous nine matches in the qualifying group ended in draws. Wydad coach Manfred Schmid gives possible reasons: “This league is characterized by avoiding mistakes, high balls and the relegation battle. “Every team participates in this at the beginning and therefore tries to get at least one point.”

Today in the return match against Austria Vienna, things should be different: “I'm really looking forward to it because it's a match between two teams that want to act more attackingly and where the focus is not on the possibility of relegation. Football will be played today.” But on the Wydad Casablanca side, without Augustin Boakye (closer) and perhaps Sandro Altonashvili, who received a horse kiss in the match against BW Linz. “It's not a skeletal injury, but he's in pain,” Schmid says. Yesterday the Georgian tried to run the sessions, but that may not be enough for Austria today.

How often Hendrik Poneman still keeps goal for Carinthia remains to be seen. “He promised that he would participate in the matches. He would be in goal. We will see how many there are,” says Schmid, who will rely on goalkeeper Lukas Gutlbauer next season.

Sad record holder

The season tally against Austria currently speaks in favor of Wolfsberger, with one win and one draw. “We didn't score in either game. “That's really good against the favourites. “But Schmid also knows that you need goals to win. There haven't been many goals for Wolfsberger recently, just three in the last six games. The coach puts it in perspective: “We have enough chances in the game – and with 16 shots hitting the crossbar or crossbar “We are the sad record holders.”

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Lavantalers' performance is only rewarded to a limited extent by viewers. Last time against Altash there were not 2,600 fans in the stadium. Only one match in the tournament and qualifying group saw fewer visitors, Wolfsberger's away match against WSG Tyrol (1250). “I'm not a fan of this league, I'm not a fan of split points. It should definitely go away,” demands Schmid, who also sees it as a danger to young players. Using them is also risky. If things go wrong, it will be difficult for the boys' future. “Some coaches won’t do that, it hinders the development of players and football in Austria.”

Away from the championship, Schmid is working on forming the team for next season with Dietmar Riegler and Christian Paff. Therno Palo option has been withdrawn. The striker will remain at Wolfsburg until at least the summer of 2025. Further discussions are ongoing. Of course, the loan contracts of Samson Tijani and Bernhard Zimmermann are also an issue. The Rapidler is all ready to say goodbye. Schmid: “The put option is very high.”