Bayer Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt is hoping Saturday’s Bundesliga match against FC Augsburg will bring about a change in fortunes for his side.
Three consecutive league defeats have seen Leverkusen slip to seventh in the standings, their most recent result a heavy 4-1 reverse to Werder Bremen in midweek.
Schmidt serves the last of a three-game touchline ban, and also faces a very serious injury list, while top scorer Javier Hernandez is suspended for picking up five yellow cards this season.
“We’ve got 21 players in the squad with nine unavailable and that doesn’t make it any easier,” he admitted on the club’s official website.
“The situation was completely different three weeks ago but we will do all we can tomorrow to win the game so we’ll be in a better place in three weeks’ time.”
Schmidt described Augsburg as “very difficult to play on their own ground, with a lot of physical players in their line-up” and said the tie will be “a big challenge for us all.”
But he remains hopeful of getting a positive result, adding: “We can’t afford to produce performances like that [Werder]. We need to be more compact and more disciplined in our approach.
“In spite of the difficult circumstances we can do much better on Saturday and that’s what we’ll show tomorrow. Not being with the team doesn’t make it any easier. However, we are capable of taking all three points.
“We’re working our way through a difficult phase at the moment. It’s a big challenge: everybody has to do their job properly. Then it will make us stronger in the long run.”