Frankfurt out to demonstrate improvement

Eintracht Frankfurt coach Armin Veh is out to prove his side have improved as they end 2013 at home to Augsburg on Friday night.

Eintracht Frankfurt

The Eagles are just three points above the relegation zone, in stark contrast to a year ago when they were three points adrift of third place, but Veh believes the team is now stronger than it was back then.

"As stupid as it may sound, we've been more dominant at times this year compared to last year," he said to HR television.

"Back then, we played with a lot of euphoria, but this year we're playing even better at times."

Competing in the Europa League has caused Frankfurt the greatest problem this season.

"It's no coincidence that we and (fellow participants) Freiburg, who are normally between around eighth and 12th, are having problems," he added.

"It's quite clear. I think you can play a game every three days, but it's all the other things which go on that tire you out."

Frankfurt will be in Europe next year, having booked their place in the last 32 of the Europa League, and Augsburg could follow them into continental competition.

The Bavarians have already set a new record for their best ever first half to a season, and the perennial slow starters are just four points behind the top six.

Little wonder coach Markus Weinzierl would gladly carry on playing throughout the festive period.

"We could really do without a winter break," he said. "We're in good form and have developed really well.

"We now want to send out a signal with this last game (of the year) and we'll give it all we've got to win."

However, Weinzierl does not want to get ahead of himself and think about the possibility of European football next season. In fact, he is not sure he would like to qualify at all.

"Just look at Frankfurt and the problems they've had," he said. "Right now, the points we have got form a basis to keep us up.

"There's no point dreaming about the Europa League."

Weinzierl missed a few days of training this week due to a cold, but he will be on the bench on Friday night. He should be able to name a fully-fit squad.

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