The new head coach of Bundesliga cellar dwellars Darmstadt believes he can save the team from relegation. However, his contract is valid for the second division should he fail to keep them up.
Former national team player Torsten Frings told reporters at a press conference in Darmstadt on Thursday of his belief that, if all the club's players and staff work together, they can pull off something of a miracle and avoid the drop.
"I believe in this 100 percent and I am 100 percent convinced that we will achieve this with this team," the 40-year-old Frings said. "We have the belief and the courage to tackle this."
However, he also acknowledged that hardly anybody beyond the southern Hesse city thought they stood a chance.
"We 30 people, plus the people in the club's office, plus the fans are probably the only people who believe in it," he said.
The task one is a tall one indeed, with the team having earned just eight points from the first 16 matches of the season, leaving them dead last in the Bundesliga, five points short of 16th spot, the minimum needed to have a chance of avoiding relegation in a playoff at the end of the season.
Frings, who spent most of his playing career at Werder Bremen, but ended it with Toronto FC of Major League Soccer in 2013, also said he was convinced to take over the difficult job, because management had expressed the desire to work with him longer term, even if the Lillies go down.
"Everbody here is convinced that I am not just coming here as a 'fireman' but to build something," he said.
Asked about the conditions at the club's stadium and training facilities, which by the Bundesliga's standards can only be described as spartan, the former midfielder was resolute.
"You don't come here because the training center is so beautiful or because it is so cozy. You come here to work," he said.
Frings also expressed his gratitude to management for putting their faith in him, even though he possesses no experience as a head coach. He completed his coaching badges just last year and had been an assistant to Viktor Skripnik in Bremen before the two were sacked early in the current season.