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Nagelsmann Sets Sobering Expectations for Leipzig

RB Leipzig have entered the 2020-21 season with high hopes from the fanbase but manager Julian Nagelsmann appears to be bringing those expectations back down to earth. Despite a great start with wins over Nurnberg and Mainz, the team has sobering expectations.

"We want to finish in the top four and have a good Champions League but we don't have expectations of reaching the semifinals," said Nagelsmann. "We also would like to get further in the DFB Pokal this season and we've already made a good start in doing that."

These are odd comments to make since the team has finished in the top four in all but one season since joining the Bundesliga five seasons ago. The expectations for a team with this type of talent is normally much higher. In their first campaign, Leipzig finished second, behind Bayern Munich and have scored wins over Dortmund and Leverkusen in the past. Why their aspirations shouldn't be the top of the table is a mystery.

Lowering expectations is not out of the norm for certain managers. Winners like Jose Mourinho have made a career of tempering expectations but his resume has mostly been with teams that have already reached the sporting summit. Leipzig are on the cusp and player appear fearless when pursuing their goals. Whether this will work to motivate will remain to be seen. However, it is worth noting that should the team accomplish the stated goals, it will still be notable.

"I've gathered my resources and built up enough energy for the new season," said Nagelsmann. "Everyone one else would probably say that I have too much energy anyway and should reduce my energy level, rather than increase it."

Leipzig will continue their campaign on Saturday against Bayer Leverkusen. It will be the first major test for the club and should they win, the aspirations may need to change in order to accommodate the results.


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