Against Altach and RB Salzburg, the 23-year-old made his first Bundesliga appearances since the home game against St. Pölten on April 24th, 2019. His motto during the almost ten months as number two behind Ivan Lucic? ‘Work, work, work’, because, ‘You just have to accelerate in such a situation, otherwise you will not get ahead personally. Finding excuses doesn't help. This is the only way to become more mature,’ says the former U21 national team goalkeeper.
Pentz is expecting a hard game in Graz, not at least because of the difficult pitch conditions: ‘We have to be strong from the start and make sure we take the lead this time,’ emphasizes the goalkeeper from Salzburg, who says with a smile, ‘Maybe we should enter the game thinking we are 0-1 behind.’
In the first two games of the spring season, Austria Wien had to concede early goals and then increased the pace. ‘We suffered setbacks but came back strong twice. I think if we had shown the same against Altach at 2-2 as we had against Salzburg, we would have been able to turn the match around completely,’ says Pentz, who is positive about the 2-2 draw against the title favourite:
‘Salzburg is not an easy opponent, but we managed to put them under pressure for them to also make mistakes.’ Pentz was able to show off in a few situations during his first home game back in the Austria Wien goal. ‘It is always best if our defenders clear everything and no ball hits our goal, but it is also great when you have to be there as a goalkeeper.’
With captain Alex Grünwald and defence chief Michael Madl, two leading players are missing from the team on Sunday against Sturm Graz. Pentz trusts the many young players to take the lead, ‘I think it's great when the young players get a turn - they are already taking responsibility: Fitz is up to the standards and Palmer-Brown is rock solid in the back. I think that Borkovic will move to the central defence - you can put him anywhere, he always performs.’
The Austria Wien goalkeeper thinks the mix between young and experienced players is really good at the moment. ‘In addition to Madl and Grünwald, with Florian Klein we also have a real leader in the team. He is a role model for many players by how he trains every day at his age.’
Patrick Pentz has good memories of Sturm Graz, in his eight games against the 'Blackies' Austria Wien won four times. ‘It is always amazing to play in Graz. I think it's great to play against other top opponents where the stadium gets loud.’