Josip Juranovic briefly raised his thumb when he was shown the statistics sheet with the Bundesliga table. Fourth place for Union Berlin: "That's perfect!" Said the Croatian international.
Juranovic could also have put his thumb down or kept it horizontal. Despite his first Bundesliga goal, the 1-1 (0-0) win at VfL Wolfsburg was more fortunate than deserved. The Berliners have only won one of the past seven competitive games.
But if you add up the games of 1. FC Union, you also come to the conclusion: Thursday, Sunday, Thursday, Sunday. Bundesliga, Europa League, DFB-Pokal: No other team in German professional football has such a high rhythm of play this season as the Irons.
The fact that they can still achieve something in all three competitions after their 36th competitive game makes them proud: In the league they are still in a Champions League place. They have already reached the quarter-finals in the DFB Cup, and this round is their next goal in the European Cup. After a 3-3 draw in the round of 16 first leg against Union Saint-Gilloise, they are trying to achieve it in Belgium next Thursday evening.
Fischer praises "willingness and passion"
"When I see what the team put in today, what willingness and what passion they showed, then I think the point is not undeserved," said coach Urs Fischer after the 1-1 draw in Wolfsburg. "We only had three days after Thursday night to prepare for this game." That's why his comment is so positive. And VfL's late equalizer by Patrick Wimmer (84th) didn't change that.
In this stressful phase, everyone at Union is very busy. Also the medical department. Already in the first half she was called onto the pitch because left-back Niko Gießelmann complained of being unwell. After just over an hour, Danilo Doekhi and Rani Khedira had to leave the field with muscular problems. "We had to be careful because we're playing another important game in Belgium in four days," said Fischer. "The doctors and physios take a closer look at it."
Josip Juranovic used his colleague Gießelmann's long treatment to talk to Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac on the sidelines. The 27-year-old came to Berlin from Celtic Glasgow during the winter break. He's only been in the country for such a short time, so it's nice to meet a Croatian here too, he said.
Shortly thereafter, Juranovic was handed the statistics sheet. Fourth place for Union, perfect. But places three to five, two Champions League places and one Europa League rank are now only separated by the goal difference. "It's tough," said Juranovic. "We have to improve a little again."