You can put it like Christopher Trimmel did: “We didn’t stand a chance against France and in Denmark. But today and also in the home game against France, more would have been possible. And then, yes, then it would have been a good group phase.” One that could have been seen against world champion France, vice world champion Croatia and against Denmark, which was so strong recently.

After the opening win in the Nations League against the Croatians on Ralf Rangnick’s debut on Thursday in the “second leg”, the third defeat in a row remained. And just saying goodbye to the elite league. Particularly bitter: Austria gave the feeling of being able to win. David Alaba said, for example: “It’s very bitter. In the first half we put everything on the pitch as you would imagine, we came back after it was 1-0 and have chances to take the lead. It was clear that Croatia has quality. But first and foremost you have to take advantage of the opportunities to win.” There was one thing the captain didn’t want: that the defeat, which started shortly after the change with the change from three to four, be hung up on the change: “No , that wasn’t the reason.”

Ralf Rangnick didn’t quite see it that way, practiced self-criticism. He was well aware that the changes broke the rhythm: “They and the change didn’t help us.” Why did they come? “Because we wanted fresh blood.”