FC Schalke 04 head coach Markus Weinzierl returns to his former club as the Royal Blues pay FC Augsburg a visit this Saturday (kick-off 15:30CEST/13:30GMT).
Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh would like to see Weinzierl given a warm welcome when he returns to the city on Saturday. "He had four successful years here and then opted for a new challenge at a big club," said the Dutch defender. "That's fair and understandable, but tribute should be paid for what he did here." Indeed, not only did Weinzierl repeatedly keep the Bavarians in the Bundesliga, he led them to an historic UEFA Europa League campaign last season, although they are just three points off the top six after six games of the current campaign.
Things have not panned out quite as Weinzierl would have liked at Schalke, with five straight defeats to start the campaign up until the revitalising win over Borussia Mönchengladbach last time out. The Royal Blues now need to take a leaf out of Gladbach's book by replicating their rise up the standings from last season, which culminated in qualification for the UEFA Champions League. "We want to be in as good a position as possible come Christmas," said Weinzierl.