Grünwalder Strasse, Munich - Struggling FC Ingolstadt 04 appointed former FSV Frankfurt and Leipzig coach Tomas Oral last week to help turn the club's fortunes around. Oral could make an immediate impression on Friday evening when his new charges take on local rivals TSV 1860 Munich at the Audi Sport Park.
With Ingolstadt currently propping up the 2nd Bundesliga table in 18th place there is much work to do if the new manager is just to avoid relegation this season. "Die Schanzer" have only managed 2 wins so far this season and found themselves on the losing side 9 times in 14 games despite only 1 loss at home.
1860 are currently 10 points ahead of their hosts on Friday in 8th place, a position that does flatter them somewhat. The Lions were boosted by some good news this week after a deal secured with Hoffenheim that will allow scorer Kevin Volland to remain a Lion until the end of the season. Having had just 1 win in their last 6 matches Volland's extended stay in Munich is a welcome relief for Reiner Maurer who can continue to draw upon his goal scoring threat.
"Unfortunately we're not playing as well as we did early season," admitted 1860's head coach. "We have to start winning again because don't want to fall further down the table, we want to be back in 6th place but the team must become more stable for that to happen."
Both sides desperately need 3 points and for 1860 they could get drawn deeper down into the slump they are going through if they cannot find some form. If Ingolstadt suffer a losing start it could demoralise the players before their new coach gets an opportunity to raise their spirits. However, teams that employ a new head coach usually do well with players eager to impress their new boss and American striker Edson Buddle is one of those players hoping to put in a solid performance on Friday. Buddle scored in the US Men's National Team's friendly earlier in the week against Slovenia and will try to keep up his form against the Lions.
Editor's Note: Tony Mayger will be at Audi Sport Park and you can follow his live updates on Twitter @tony_tmt_sports.
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