Köln give their fans reason to believe again after seasons of struggle | Andy Brassell

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Andy Brassell

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After surviving the relegation play-off last year, Effzeh appear to be on the up under their new head coach Steffen Baumgart

“If you want to avoid relegation,” suggested Anthony Modeste, “then you have to beat these opponents.” The Köln striker might have missed Bochum’s impressive, dogged opening performances back in the Bundesliga but his perspective is one you understand from someone who knows this fascinating, drama-heavy club so well. Safety first, second and third after the experience of recent seasons.

The circumspection of FC Köln’s players is never going to be matched by the fans in the home of Karneval, though. Cologne, as a city, never needs much encouragement to be swept up in a wave of optimism but there are reasons for observers beyond the faithful to believe in Effzeh this season. Failing to beat Bochum, as Modeste suggested, might have taken a bit of air out of the Köln balloon. Yet a 2-1 win over the plucky promoted team was only the tip of the iceberg in what should have delighted the new coach, Steffen Baumgart, and all those of an Effzeh persuasion.

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