In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Mark Uth spoke about the big goal for Europe and his heart club 1. FC Köln.
Sky Sports: 1. FC Cologne prepares for the home match against Armenia Bielefeld. If the next opponent changes coaches during the week before the match against you: how unpredictable does that opponent make?
Mark Ott: Yes, I think it is a defect. We can’t necessarily prepare anything at the moment and have no idea what system they’re coming into. But as in the last few weeks we have to focus on ourselves and do well and then play our home game and win.
They had the unconditional will to come to Europe.
Sky Sports: You are now only playing against the teams behind you at the table. Advantage or disadvantage?
Uth: I think we’ve played very well in the Bundesliga so far and we can beat anyone. The problem is that most of these opponents are struggling to survive. Almost all four teams could still be relegated. We just have to get on with our game. We have to go as hard as we can, ramp up the enthusiasm and then we can win these matches. But it certainly won’t be easy.
Sky Sports: A week ago, you clearly announced the goal of Europe. Did that give you another boost or did the overall goal change anything?
Uth: Not much has changed for us there. We saw that we gave everything we had against Gladbach because we absolutely wanted to come to Europe and that’s what we will give in the next few weeks.
Sky Sports: Such a statement could pay off again.
Uth: Okay, but we knew anyway we really wanted to. We were less interested in whether it would come out now.
Derby win over Gladbach
Sky Sports: Sixth place means the Europa League, otherwise the Europa League would be possible. Don’t you care what it is? Would you say: the most important thing is Europe, or does the European League mean something else to you?
Uth: Of course I will take the best. The Europa League will be great, but we will also accept the Conference League. I think the city is so crazy that we are going to all over Europe and a lot of fans will come with us. I would be happy about Europe in general. It doesn’t matter much what it will become.
Sky Sports: A few weeks ago you were told that you depended entirely on Anthony Modeste. I say: something happened after that. Other players also scored goals. Is this a coincidence or do you intend to do something extra?
Uth: No, of course the coach can criticize us. We are very happy to have Anthony Modest and we need to score more goals in all areas. Dejan Ljubicic has now started scoring goals, and Florian Caeniz has also entered the scorers list again. The coach has already explained this to us internally. Making it public afterward is his prerogative and we have taken it very seriously before. Now we hope it stays that way.
“I am happy to be with my heart club.”
Sky Sports: You still only have three goals this season, but you’ve been involved in six goals in the last two games. Can you also dispense with your own goals?
Uth: I would love to meet you again! But I want to win matches. And if I can help in any way with the templates, I’m very happy with that. The important thing is that we win matches.
Sky Sports: 1. FC Köln played two years without Ultras. I’ve now tested 2 premium games in a row with Ultras. Would these games have been possible without this support?
Uth: We’ve also won games and comics in the previous weeks. I don’t think this is just down to the fans. Of course: You are very, very important to us. I saw him in Berlin too, when the Ultras came. I got goosebumps because she was just beautiful. We’re so happy they’re back and hitting us up front. Of course you could tell that the atmosphere in Gladbach and at home against Mainz was a little better, and it raised a little bit more. I think it is very important for Germany as a whole to return the Ultras.
Sky Sports: At the moment, despite all the successes, there is a lot of discussion about the personal details of his victory. When will Baumgart extend, will Luca Killian stay, and what will happen to Ozkan? Do you see such noise or how do you deal with it as a team?
Uth: We completely ignore it. These are topics that do not interest us at the moment. We are only focusing on the German Bundesliga. We are focused on getting as high as possible in the table and it doesn’t matter what happens around the corner. There is always a lot written and said.
Sky Sport: It’s been about a year since we had to see these bad scenes after the relegation to Schalke, which also affected you personally. Now we stand here and talk about Europe. Did you expect things to develop so quickly and so well for you personally?
Uth: What does it mean? Of course I am very happy to be at home with my Heart Association. We set ourselves the goal of having a great season and no one believed us. In the end, we were able to confirm it so far. So I better come back here and have a great season.
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