The start of the SpVgg Greuther Fürth makes you want more. Even if the relegated team doesn't achieve the desired start win. Even before the Franconia derby, the transfer debate about captain Hrgota smolders.
Fürth (dpa / lby) - Marc Schneider smiled relaxed. The constant question about the future of captain Branimir Hrgota had no stress potential for the new coach of SpVgg Greuther Fürth even after his debut in the 2nd Bundesliga. "We know the situation. Everything is open until the transfer window closes. Nevertheless, I assume that Brani will stay there," Schneider replied when asked whether Hrgota would also be in the Franconia derby.
Exchange speculation about the Swedes has been around for months. Immediately after the promising 2:2 (0:1) at home against Holstein Kiel on Saturday, Hrgota left his future in Fürth open. "I'm the captain of this team and I'll always give my all no matter what it looks like, whether I'm leaving or staying," said the 29-year-old forward. "We'll see what happens in the end."
Hrgota assured that he had grown fond of the "cloverleaf". Since the summer of 2019 he has been playing for the relegated team from the Bundesliga. His contract in Fürth runs until June 30, 2024.
When asked whether he would still be in the neighborhood duel against 1. FC Nürnberg next week, Hrgota answered evasively on the Sky TV channel: "The football business is the way it is." You have to "maybe talk to my advisor."
On the lawn, Hrgota led the way as usual. After a shot at the post by Joker Ragnar Ache, he even had a huge chance to score the winning goal from a few meters just before the final whistle. But the Kiel keeper Thomas Dähne defused the situation.
"We're disappointed with the result, but we're absolutely satisfied with the performance," said coach Schneider in his pristine white shirt after his team's energetic start.
The Fürth team, who started with the two newcomers Oussama Haddadi (central defender) and Armindo Sieb (attacker), were enthusiastic and determined. In front of 8756 spectators, however, they surprisingly fell behind after a volley by Timo Becker in the 29th minute. "I'm incredibly happy with how the lads dealt with the deficit," said Schneider.
Shortly after the break, Hrgota curved through the Kiel penalty area and prepared Julian Green's equalizer (48'). Timothy Tillman (76') then increased, but after Simon Asta fouled Oscar Pichler, Alexander Mühling (80') scored from the point for Kiel.
In the final phase, the Fürth then missed the tangible 3:2. "I'm absolutely happy with the performance, we mustn't lose our greed," said Schneider, who is now preparing his team for the derby on Saturday. Whether with or without Hrgota remains to be seen.