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Rasmussen’s delight at Bundesliga start with Mainz

On-loan Celtic striker Morten Rasmussen is delighted with his progress with the German club, who are surprise league leaders.

Fighting spirit: Morten Rasmussen is battling back from his Celtic snub by taking Mainz to the Bundesliga's summit.
©Reuters

Mainz 05’s dream start to the new Bundesliga season shows no sign of letting up and on-loan Celtic striker Morten Rasmussen has expressed his happiness to be part of it all. The German club, in their second season back in the top flight, won 2-0 against Cologne on Tuesday night to maintain their 100 per cent record.

Die Nullfunfer sit top of the league with five games gone, beating Werder Bremen, Kaiserslautern, Wolfsburg and Stuttgart in an unexpected strong start to the campaign, with Rasmussen scoring two of their 12 goals to date.

Rasmussen moved from Brondby to Celtic in January this year but, having made just four starts last season and after being left out of Neil Lennon’s plans this campaign, the Dane was sent on loan to Germany for the season.

Tipped to make a goalscoring impact at Celtic that he wasn’t given the chance to achieve, Rasmussen appears to be a key figure in Mainz’s plans, starting their first three games, and has no regrets at leaving Glasgow behind.

“I feel really comfortable in Mainz,” Rasmussen told Ekstra Bladet. “This is a fantastic club and I have felt welcome from day one. I feel at home.

“My start here in Mainz has been fantastic. Five games, five wins, it is a great thing.”

Their manager, Thomas Tuchel, was given the job at the start of last season despite having no experience of managing at first team level, promoted from being Mainz’s under-19’s coach.

But his stock has risen considerably after keeping the club in the Bundesliga last season, finishing ninth, before their rise to the top of the pile this season.

“I like the coach,” Rasmussen said of Tuchel. “He is young and he has great ideas. After just three games I thought ‘he is a great coach’. The training is great and we are all learning new things.”

Rasmussen was overlooked for Denmark's World Cup squad and hasn't featured for his country since his involvement in the King's Cup in January, shortly before he made the switch to Celtic. Now playing regular football, Rasmussen has set his sights on breaking back into the international team but says he can only wait for the call.

“I am with Mainz and trying my best to help the team," he said. "I work hard in training and in games. When Morten Olsen believes that I'm good enough, he can call me.

“I'm not the coach, so it's hard to say whether a call-up will come. But as I said, I'll do my best.”

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