Through the eight opening matches of the Rückrunde, Werkself has seen its hopes for the championship fall aside with only one win. Now with nine matches remaining Bruno Labbadia's club must find solidarity if they are to reverse their fortunes.
The Bayer coach recognizes Sunday's derby against Köln as the perfect entry-point for that rebound:
"There have been games where we’ve had better results and shown more confidence but now it’s time to get back to winning ways. We’ve got a derby away from home. That’s a great challenge and it will be be a good test. I think it will be an interesting encounter."
Aware that Köln supporters will be out in full force, he added:
“Köln have a great stadium and we’re expecting a tremendous atmosphere, a real lion’s den. Derby games are always special.”
Werkself have a number of injury concerns, starting with Gonzalo Castro who is definitely out with question marks on Manuel Friedrich, Arturo Vidal, Pirmin Schwegler and René Adler.