Ja-Cheol Koo scored the decisive goal in FC Augsburg's 1-0 win over Hannover 96 on Matchday 22. - © © imago / nph
Ja-Cheol Koo scored the decisive goal in FC Augsburg's 1-0 win over Hannover 96 on Matchday 22. - © © imago / nph

Augsburg's Ja-Cheol Koo: 'We learned the hard way'


South Korean international Ja-Cheol Koo was the hero of the hour for FC Augsburg on Sunday, his first-half goal giving his team a crucial victory over fellow strugglers Hannover 96.

Read: Hannover 0-1 Augsburg report

It was Koo's fourth goal of the season, and his first since Augsburg's 4-0 victory over VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 13. With two assists to his name this season as well, the 26-year-old is an invaluable asset for Markus Weinzierl's squad.

Following his heroics against Hannover, Koo spoke to bundesliga.com about squad rotation, the Bundesliga's appeal in his homeland of South Korea, and Augsburg's historic opportunity to knock Liverpool FC out of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

- © imago / nph

Read: Jürgen Klopp full of praise for Augsburg

bundesliga.com: Augsburg qualified for the UEFA Europa League last season, but this year you're fighting against relegation. Did the team underestimate how tiring it would be to play so many games in midweek?

Koo: I don't think we underestimated it, but it's completely new territory for us. We had no experience of what it's like to play in the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup and the Europa League all at the same time. It is very tiring, and we learned that the hard way, particularly at the start of the season. But we did learn.

bundesliga.com: What exactly have you learned as a team?

Koo: Early on in the season, we were always playing with the same starting line-up. We've begun to rotate a bit more since then. I, for example, didn't start against Leverkusen or against Liverpool. It's the same situation for everyone.

bundesliga.com: If you could choose between guaranteed survival in the Bundesliga or victory against Liverpool, which one would it be?

Koo: It would be great to have both, but we obviously want to be playing in the Bundesliga next season.

- © imago / foto2press