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Pacult still cautious about Rapid success

Published: Friday 18 April 2008, 12.00CET
SK Rapid Wien coach Peter Pacult says "not everything's perfect" despite his side being within one win of their first Austrian Bundesliga title since 2005.
by Steffen Potter
Pacult still cautious about Rapid success
Steffen Hofmann has been inspirational for Rapid ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 18 April 2008, 12.00CET

Pacult still cautious about Rapid success

SK Rapid Wien coach Peter Pacult says "not everything's perfect" despite his side being within one win of their first Austrian Bundesliga title since 2005.
SK Rapid Wien coach Peter Pacult says "not everything's perfect" despite his side being within one victory of their first Austrian Bundesliga title since 2005.

Four-point lead
With two fixtures remaining and holding a four-point advantage over champions FC Salzburg, Rapid know that a win in Sunday's home match against SCR Altach would secure a 32nd championship. Nevertheless, the 48-year-old is remaining level-headed about the prospect of a party at the club's Gerhard Hanappi Stadium come full-time.

Focused
"We are not in this position because everything I have done is right and everything [Salzburg coach Giovanni] Trapattoni has done is wrong," he said. "It is proof that you should never react in extremes. I am never totally down in times of crisis, and I am not overly enthusiastic right now."

'Fully concentrated'
The doctrine of calm would appear to have filtered through to his players as right-back Andreas Dober says Rapid will "not underestimate" Altach. Wise words considering Altach inflicted a 2-0 home reverse on Rapid back in September – a time when Pacult was receiving criticism from some quarters in Austria. "We are fully concentrated, we have pretended that this was a normal week, but of course we are more than eager to go into the game," said the 22-year-old Dober.

'Class'
What could prove to be the season's pivotal moment came in late March when Rapid went to leaders Salzburg and won 7-0 – they were five goals to the good at half-time – to replace their rivals at the top of the table, having been off the summit since 2 September. "It shows our class that we have continued to work hard and produce results even after that triumph," said Dober.

Individual award
Steffen Hofmann scored the seventh goal that day and the 27-year-old German midfielder has the been a talismanic figure for Rapid this term. Club captain, Hofmann has scored ten times and contributed 23 assists, a tally which earned him the Austrian Bundesliga Player of the Year award recently.

Goalscorers
However, Hofmann alone has not been responsible for Rapid's promising campaign. Striker Stefan Maierhofer, who stands over two metres tall, has chipped in with six goals in eleven appearances, a haul which has fired Rapid to 65 goals this season – the league's highest total.

Austrian contingent
And while Salzburg's squad consists of many nationalities, Rapid's low-budget gathering is made up of largely Austrian-born players. Such a mix has paid dividends, and should Rapid secure the title, even Pacult may raise a smile.

Last updated: 20/04/08 22.53CET

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