dino Toppmöller did not make the mistake of sugarcoating what was obviously bad. The defeat in Cologne hit Eintracht hard. Because she came unexpectedly, but completely deserved. “In football terms,” the coach admitted, his performance in the 2-0 defeat against “Effzeh” did not even correspond to his own intentions.

In recent days, the greats of the club who are everywhere have made it clear in many ways. the election of Mathias Beck as new president He took some occasions to express his disappointment in the team's recent sporting performance, that a performance like the one a week ago in the Rhineland is also considered unacceptable internally – and Toppmöller has a duty to ensure that the players' skills are further developed. consistent. and he organized them as a group in such a way that the second half of the season does not promise to be a sad and frustrating experience.

The 43-year-old said Thursday he would do everything in his power to keep the team fighting. VfL Bochum this Saturday (3:30 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and in Sky) makes “repairs”. He fueled expectations of a “good reaction” on matchday 21 of the Bundesliga. “We want to show from the beginning that we want to win,” said Toppmöller, who wants to “take the audience with us from the first action.” It won't be easy, for many reasons. On the one hand, the suspended Tuta and Niels Nkounkou are missing. Both defenders saw yellow and red cards for repeated fouls in Cologne.

The personal situation is aggravated by the absence of Dina Ebimbe due to “muscle problems.” Toppmöller said cannot be summoned. Furthermore, the nominations of Sasa Kalajdzic and Aurelio Buta are question marks; Both the Austrian attacker and the Portuguese defender will soon be fathers, and their partners are about to give birth.

Toppmöller stated that in the future, regardless of individual names, it will be important to have a more convincing work attitude overall. He made this clear in subsequent conversations with professionals. Against Bochum he demanded more “intensity” and a higher “energy level” to give the opponent a feeling of constant dominance. “We can't miss the break,” he said, recalling the first 45 minutes in Cologne, in which the Frankfurt team collectively followed the action.

“A ray of hope for the coming weeks”

Toppmöller said he was with Omar Marmush He plans to be a forward in the starting lineup. The Egyptian was last in action at the African Cup and returned ill to Frankfurt after being eliminated from his home country's team. The health problems are now over. The 25-year-old, who is Eintracht's most accurate player in all competitions with twelve goals, is expected to be more active. Toppmöller called him and Tunisian Fares Chaibi “bringers of hope for the coming weeks.” But at the same time he asked that “expectations be adjusted to what is currently possible.” The 43-year-old claimed that none of his most recently hired professionals, whom he basically described as “super newcomers,” are currently at the peak of his creative potential. “You are in no condition to shoot the stars in the sky.”

In the case of Hugo Ekitike in particular, the description of the situation did not seem very promising. With the Frenchman, who is initially on loan from Paris Saint-Germain until the summer (with an option to buy). The physical diagnosis in Frankfurt showed a regrettable level. “It's behind, we have to be very careful,” said Toppmöller, describing how the 21-year-old recently had to slow down after 45 minutes into an intense workout, because otherwise there would be a danger of “the muscle flying away.” “. “. The club's doctors urgently recommended building Ekitike carefully. He had not received “any team training for four months” and recently “had no individual training for six weeks,” said the coach, who did not go into further detail about why. PSG left aside the ideal candidate who had previously signed for Stade Reims for 28 million.

Ekitike needs to be nurtured

He did not want to participate in speculation, Toppmöller said, adding that “under other circumstances we would not have succeeded.” After his replacement in Cologne, Ekitike at least “hinted” at his potential. It takes time and patience. “I can hope that he will take us from one victory to another over the next three months,” the coach said with a brutal honesty that left no room for more pleasant interpretations.

First it is necessary to “polish” Ekitike a little to be able to really attack in the “decisive moment” at the end of the season. At best, a short deployment against VfL is an option. However, he is “one hundred percent” convinced of the young man's potential, who faces the difficult situation “with a lot of humility, work and understanding.” Ekitike is “a player of the future” for Eintracht. The fact that the present will turn gray for the moment if we fail against Bochum increases the pressure this weekend. Especially at Toppmöller.