FSV get set for a busy week
Three away games in just seven days as the Zerofivers seek to improve their away record – Svensson: “…if you only have reason to celebrate three, four times in 12 games, then it’s just not enough.”
“I think it’s a great decision, and it fits to how we are as a club and what we aspire to be. It’s the natural next step and I’m happy that it’s now come to fruition,” Bo Svensson said when asked about today’s announcement that Mainz 05 would be partnering with TSV SCHOTT Mainz to run a girls and women’s football division. During the pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Mönchengladbach (17:30 CEST), our head coach is looking for his side to improve their away form. While the Zerofivers are in third place in a table representing home form, they are only 17th in the away form table. Ahead of Sunday’s match against the Foals – the only other German team that Svensson played for during his active career – the Dane will need to deal with certain personnel issues affecting the squad.
1. FSV Mainz 05 have a busy week ahead, with three away games in just seven days. After the match in Mönchengladbach, the team will face FC Augsburg on Wednesday night (18:30 CEST), before ending the week on Saturday at 1. FC Köln (15:30 CEST). The team will be in for an “unusual week,” as Svensson called it, in which they will need to “bring the right energy to the pitch” in every game. Currently, the focus is on the match against Gladbach, but preparations for the other games are also still running in the background. In order to guarantee as much recovery time as possible, Mainz will fly to Augsburg ahead of their mid-week match. With three games in a week, the coaches will also have to weigh whether or not to give recently returned internationals such as Jonny Burkardt (muscle stiffness), Jae-sung Lee (travelled to South Korea) or Silva Widmer (slight knock while away with Switzerland) a full game on the weekend already.
“Still have lots to prove away from home”
The coach will have some important decisions to make, especially as the run-in to the Bundesliga season approaches. “The last six weeks are when decisions are made, including for us. Things are tight in the table. We have nine points on offer this week alone, which means that a lot can happen,” said Svensson. Mainz need to improve their form away from home, in order to bring a “solid season” so far, to a fitting end. “We have had some good away games, but if you only have reason to celebrate three, four times in 12 games, then it’s just not enough. We still have lots to prove away from home. That’s the challenge we’ve put to the lads, and which we believe we can successfully take on. We haven’t given a positive showing of ourselves on the road so far, but now have three chances in just six days to do something to change that,” said Svensson.
Tough opponents await
Ahead of the match against Gladbach, where Svensson played in the 2006/07 season before his move to Mainz, the head coach spoke of his respect for the opponent, even if the Zerofivers have managed to take more points (37, with a game in hand) than the Foals (33). “They won both their last two games without conceding, during what hasn’t been an easy season for them. Gladbach are a team with a lot of quality. These wins and their home fans will give them some momentum and it won’t be an easy game for us, but our challenge is to make them work for it. We’re capable of doing so,” he said, adding that his side will need to be “slightly better” than in their previous away games this season.
“These wins and their home fans will give them some momentum and it won’t be an easy game for us, but our challenge is to make them work for it.”
“It’s about playing with intensity, to stay compact and to cause problems for the opponents, who have a lot of individual talent. That’s what’s needed at the top level in the Bundesliga, and we will need to be strong in defence. Against Union Berlin, there were moments where we looked good, but we didn’t manage to pose a threat. You have to strike at the right moment, given that you won’t have that many chances in an away game.” Should the team manage to do so, their third away win of the season could “pave the way for more.”
Svensson will definitely be without Jeremiah St. Juste (rehabilitation following shoulder surgery) and Delano Burgzorg (myocarditis).