New Year – New Luck? goes an old proverb in German. For FC Magdeburg this seems to be what is happening right now.
If anything, fans of FC Magdeburg could be forgiven to rub their eyes in astonishment these days. Had the club performed unfortunate from August to December it seems they have turned a corner and stabilised the ship, i.e. the first team. What a turn around this is! In the first 17 matches of the season, Magdeburg earned a meagre 11 points, since the start of the return leg the team have almost doubled that tally in just five games. Magdeburg are now sitting in 15. place and have put some distance between themselves and the relegation places: they are two points clear of Ingolstadt in 16., the relegation play-off spot and four to Sandhausen in 17., the first direct relegation place in the table.
It does not mean that there is no longer any danger of relegation and all is dry and save. No. It is however a sign of the turnaround that has taken place since the new coach, Michael Oenning has taken over in November. He is in charge now for almost three months and it is safe to say that he has so far made the difference. He has brought in new faces, got rid of some squad members who did not make the cut nor an effort to deserve a place in the squad. The new faces are by no means unknown players or even mercenaries. One of them is Jan Kirchhoff who has had a spell at Bayern Munich before playing in England, namely at Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers. Though he is injury prone, his experience alone is almost worth a goal here and there, thus his signing must be seen as a masterstroke by the management.
Where does the club stand? They are unbeaten in 2019, recording three wins and a draw. The trajectory is clearly on an upward arch and hopes are high that this remains this way until the end of the season. There will be setbacks and it is in these moments that the team have show their resolve and character. For now they are on a roll and have sent a strong signal that they are far from finished in this division.