Mönchengladbach - Borussia Mönchengladbach have the opportunity to boost their chances of European football next season against 16th-placed FC Augsburg on Friday (kick-off 20:30 CET), but having been plagued by inconsistency, the Foals are refusing to look beyond the Matchday 30 opener.
"We have to do better"
Each of Gladbach's two most recent victories against Hannover 96 and Greuther Fürth have been followed by defeats to SC Freiburg and VfB Stuttgart, form symptomatic of Lucien Favre's side, who are yet to register two straight wins this season.
"I don't want to talk about [our targets for the season]", said Favre ahead of the game. "We just have to take things one game at a time."
Winger Patrick Herrmann believes the five-time Bundesliga champions have much to improve on from last weekend's 2-0 loss to Stuttgart if they are to extend their run of eight games unbeaten at the Borussia Park.
"We have to do better in a number of areas," said the 22-year-old. "We need to give our all for the full 90 minutes, stand firm and show our quality."
De Jong in form
Top goalscorer with six goals along with Dutch striker Luuk de Jong, who struck the winners in each of Mönchengladbach's last two victories, Herrmann is likely to play a key role in what he is expecting to be a "tough game. Augsburg are full of fight. They've consistently been showing in the second half of the season they're in very good shape".
After an impressive 2-0 success against Eintracht Frankfurt in which South Korean winter recruit Dong-Won Ji struck his first brace for the club, Augsburg are hoping to close the gap on the teams above them in the relegation dogfight. "We can set the pace and increase the pressure on the other teams," said head coach Markus Weinzierl.
"Full of confidence"
Despite missing a number of potential first-choice players owing to injury, among them Ja-Cheol Koo, Michael Parkhurst and Aristide Bance, not to mention Estonia's Player of the Year Ragnar Klavan due to suspension, Weinzierl insisted he will be able to field a team strong enough to overcome Friday's hosts. "The team has gelled and we're able to replace any player. We're travelling to Mönchengladbach full of confidence."
Gladbach: ter Stegen - Jantschke, Brouwers, Dominguez, Wendt - Nordtveit (Xhaka), Marx - Herrmann, Arango - Younes, de Jong
Augsburg: Manninger - Verhaegh, Callsen-Bracker, Vogt, Ostrzolek - Baier - Hahn, Moravek, Ji, Werner - Mölders