Stakes too high for Darm­stadt coach Frings in match against his for­mer club Bre­men

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TORSTEN Frings can’t af­ford to get too sen­ti­men­tal on his re­turn to Werder Bre­men.

Now in charge of struggling Darm­stadt, Frings needs points today — last-place Darm­stadt are 10 points from safety with 12 games re­main­ing.

Bre­men have no room for gen­eros­ity, ei­ther. Pre­vi­ously last, the team are only two points ahead of Ham­burg in the Bun­desliga’s rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Frings, an icon at Bre­men fol­low­ing his long in­volve­ment at the club, took over at Darm­stadt af­ter Christ­mas to help save the mod­est side from the drop.

“We keep our fin­gers crossed for him as long as he can do without the points in games against Werder and fin­ish the sea­son be­hind us,” Bre­men gen­eral man­ager Frank Bau­mann said at the time.

That likely won’t be enough for the 40-year-old Frings, who has over­seen four losses and only one win — against Borus­sia Dort­mund — from his six games in charge.

Darm­stadt have pro­duced stir­ring per­for­mances in that time but seem to lack luck at cru­cial mo­ments.

The side were lead­ing Augs­burg last week­end be­fore the vis­i­tors equalised through a penalty and then won with a late goal. Frings has also com­plained of de­ci­sions go­ing against his team.

Frings, a com­bat­ive mid­fielder with an eye for goal, be­gan his Bun­desliga ca­reer at Bre­men 20 sea­sons ago, pro­gress­ing to the na­tional team in 2001, be­fore moves to Borus­sia Dort­mund in 2002 and Bay­ern Mu­nich in 2004. He never set­tled in Mu­nich and re­turned to Bre­men in 2005 un­til his de­par­ture for Toronto FC in 2011.

He went into coach­ing upon re­tire­ment, start­ing with Bre­men’s Un­der-23 team be­fore he was pro­moted as Vik­tor Skrip­nik’s as­sis­tant to the se­nior team af­ter Robin Dutt was fired.

Frings and Skrip­nik, an­other dou­ble win­ner at Bre­men, formed a suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship be­fore re­sults started slip­ping and the Ukrainian was fired in Septem­ber fol­low­ing this sea­son’s poor start.

Frings’ de­ci­sion not to re­place his for­mer team­mate led to Alexan­der Nouri, the club’s for­mer Un­der-23 coach, get­ting the job in­stead.

Ham­burg will be hop­ing to take ad­van­tage of any favours from Darm­stadt when they host Hertha Ber­lin to­mor­row.

Bay­ern Mu­nich, who routed Ham­burg 8-0 last week­end, visit Cologne today.

TODAY: Dort­mund v Lev­erkusen, Cologne v Bay­ern, Hof­fen­heim vIn­gol­stadt, Mainz v Wolfs­burg, Bre­men v Darm­stadt, M’glad­bach v Schalke; TO

MOR­ROW: Frank­furt v Freiburg, Ham­burg

AP v Ber­lin.

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