Steffen Baumgart (49) is always optimistic.  He believes his team will compensate for Ellyes Skhiri (26).

Bitter pill for 1. FC Köln: midfield strategist Ellyes Skhiri (26) is out for an indefinite period. Coach Steffen Baumgart is still optimistic.

Cologne – Without Ellyes Skhiri (26), but with a lot of self-confidence: The 1. FC Cologne is on Friday (8.30 p.m.) in the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim to guest. Trainer Steffen Baumgart (49) is optimistic about the Bundesliga-Duel.

Steffen Baumgart (49) is always optimistic. He believes his team will compensate for Ellyes Skhiri (26). © Marius Becker / dpa

“I don’t care how Hoffenheim runs. We think of ourselves,” said Baumgart at the press conference on Wednesday.

Skhiri’s absence will not be for months, but the billy goats will miss him for a few weeks, said Baumgart.

The search for a replacement for the midfielder, who came from the Tunisian national team with knee problems, turned out to be quite difficult.

Breathe a sigh of relief at 1. FC Köln: Jonas Hector back in team training
1. FC Cologne
Breathe a sigh of relief at 1. FC Köln: Jonas Hector back in team training

Because the other “endurance runner” and suitable replacement Dejan Ljubicic (24) is also ailing. “Ljubicic first went to the doctor. We have to find out what is wrong with him, it is about a cold, how serious it is,” said the FC coach.

With this, Salih Öczan (23) will hold the skhiri position. His coach gave him a guarantee: “I’ll be happy when he shows up on Friday.”

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