Even the day after the disaster against the defeated last team SV Darmstadt 98, no prospects were shown at 1. FC Köln. The sports director Christian Keller, who was heavily criticized, still seemed at a loss and coach Timo Schultz seemed to no longer want to see his professionals, who had been bitterly disappointing in the 2-0 defeat.

The obligatory training on Sunday was canceled and preparations for the next direct basement duel at FSV Mainz 05 next Sunday will only begin on Tuesday. It should be 17th in the table. from Cologne on the 31st matchday will probably be the last chance to once again decisively move closer to the relegation relegation place in the Bundesliga.

“If we don’t make a leap forward now, it won’t be enough,” predicted Keller in the Sport1 “One-two”, still under the impression of the weak performance against Darmstadt, which had previously not won 22 games in a row.

Currently no Bundesliga level

“It’s obvious: the quality we brought to the pitch wasn’t at Bundesliga level,” complained Keller, who had previously planned for a three-pointer in order to be able to attack again in the final spurt of the season. Instead, the gap grows upwards. In front of FC, Mainz, VfL Bochum and Union Berlin are currently fighting to avoid relegation. Wolfsburg, on the other hand, made a leap with a 1-0 win in a direct duel with Bochum.

“With all due respect to your opponent, if you have Bundesliga aspirations, you have to beat them at home,” said Keller, who was at the center of the fan anger. There were repeated whistles and shouts of “get out of the cellar” during the game. “I understand that everyone here in the stadium is upset. In the end, I am primarily responsible and understand that people are letting out their frustration,” said Keller.

Coach change fizzled out

The central accusation against the 47-year-old is that he has ruined FC’s savings over the past few months. In addition, the change of coach after the separation from Steffen Baumgart to Timo Schultz at the beginning of the year hardly brought anything. The average points under Schultz (0.857 per game) is only slightly better than under Baumgart (0.625) and is still at relegation level. So far, under the new coach, there have only been victories against nine Frankfurt players and, with a lot of luck, against Bochum.

“Timo is doing very, very well so far. From day one,” said Keller. But the coach also seemed a bit at a loss on Saturday and only had slogans to persevere. “We can play better and we have to play better. If we can do that, we have a chance of winning in Mainz,” said Schultz, countering the impression of every one of the 50,000 spectators. The pressure to win paralyzed the players. “Today I had the feeling that we were unsettled,” said captain Florian Kainz and defender Timo Hübers confessed: “Our hearts sank a bit.”

Gloomy prospects in the event of relegation due to a transfer ban

It has been clear since Saturday: If FC do not make a quantum leap in quality in the last four games of the second half of the season, the seventh Bundesliga relegation will be perfect. And this time, given the current transfer ban, this could have much worse consequences than the previous six relegations since 1998. Due to a violation of FIFA regulations when transferring Slovenian youth player Jaka Potocnik two years ago, FC is only allowed to make transfers again in the winter. This could be fatal, especially in the summer after relegation, if the club had to give up top performers.

According to “Bild am Sonntag”, the attackers Davie Selke and Mark Uth do not have a valid contract for the 2nd league and goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe, the defenders Hübers and Jeff Chabot and midfielder Dejan Ljubicic have exit clauses. “It is actually the case that one or two people have a clause or no second division contract,” confirmed Keller, who could only replace the potential departures with returning loan players or young talent.