Despite the 3-1 win in the play-off first leg, Rapid coach Goran Djuricin was in the line of fire of the green-and-white fans. The next Wacker opponent is in a state of unrest.
Vienna – Rapid celebrated a victory on Thursday that could bring the club several million Euros. The 3-1 win against Steaua Bucharest opened the door to seventh participation in the group stage of the Europa League, and yet much of the action turned off the pitch afterwards. Coach Goran Djuricin was in the line of fire of the green and white fan scene.
Even before the kickoff, Rapid-Ultras had handed out notes at Block West, on which Djuricin and the entire presidium were criticised. The letter ended with the words “Gogo out”. In the 45th minute, the organized fan scene gave emphasis to their concern with “Gogo raus” banners and shouts – and that at the score of 2:0 against the Romanian record champion.
Posters did not influence performance
Promptly the second half started with a top chance for Steaua, in the 47th minute the Romanians scored the away goals. “But the posters didn’t affect our performance in the second half,” said captain Stefan Schwab, who made it 3-1 in the 49th minute.
The midfielder said he didn’t see much or anything of the fan action. “I only saw one poster,” Schwab said. His colleagues Mario Sonnleitner, Thomas Murg and Christoph Knasmüllner even said in unison that they had not at all noticed the demand for a Djuricin dismissal.
Sport managing director Fredy Bickel spoke in connection with the fan protests of a “very unfavorable moment. So shortly before the break you have the pictures in your head, although you might want to discuss something else. That certainly wasn’t much help.”
Djuricin himself held back perfectly with statements about the causa. When asked about the banners and chants, the 43-year-old said: “Out of respect for my team, I ask for your understanding not to answer this question, at least not today, because I have to take care of the sports, and that was work enough. It is important to me that I can look in the mirror. I work 24 hours for Rapid, that’s the most important thing.”
Special praise for Strebinger
The Viennese player preferred to talk about the performance of his team. “Our performance was very strong in the first half. We almost always attacked at the front and missed two huge chances”. Djuricin complained that in the second half you should have played some counter-opportunities better, but admitted: “In the end I’m glad that we kept the 3:1.” This means that the starting position for the return leg in Bucharest is “relatively good”.
According to Djuricin, this is mainly thanks to Goalie Richard Strebinger, who destroyed some of the top chances of the guests. For the goalkeeper there was also special praise from the other players. “I can’t remember a single serious mistake he made in the last year and a half. He is clearly a national team goalie,” Schwab explained. Players of Swag Bingo can get opportunities of winning a progressive or guaranteed jackpot here.