Pros 16.11.2022 — 22:00 Uhr

Heidel: “We’re where we deserve to be in the table”

Mainz’s board member for sport and communication reviews the first half of the season, talks about the academy and possible new signings.

Heidel before the away game at FC Bayern, Mainz's opponents in the DFB-Pokal last 16.

There will be no training at 1. FSV Mainz 05 until 30th November, with 67 days to go until the next Bundesliga game against VfB Stuttgart. Following in-depth discussions with Christian Heidel and sporting director Martin Schmidt, head coach Bo Svensson has also gone on holiday, reported Heidel when speaking to the press today. He wants his coach to switch off and relax after some intense weeks. “The game against Frankfurt was good for us. We didn’t want to go into the long break on the back of that Schalke game, particularly because of the way we lost. We’ve thankfully all got the Frankfurt match to look back on instead,” said the 59-year-old.

After that draw with Frankfurt last time out, Mainz went into the winter break with 19 points from 15 Bundesliga games, putting them 10th in the table. The club officials aren’t totally satisfied so far, although they still feel the current return is a decent one. “I think we’re where we deserve to be in the table according to how we’ve played so far. That’s not meant in a negative way, I simply think the table is a fair reflection right now. We’ve not been quite good enough to be higher up, but we’ve been better than the teams who are a few points behind us. The good thing is that we know we could have had three or five more points if we’d done a few minor things better,” stated Heidel, who praised the team for continuously reacting well to setbacks.

I simply think the table is a fair reflection right now

 

“We’ll always be a club that won’t start questioning the status of our staff just because we’ve lost three or four games in a row. If you start doing that, you’ll eventually get relegated. I’ve not had the feeling at all over the last two years that there is any unrest within the club. We’ve got things under control again.”

No hasty transfers

Whether the club will need to be active on the transfer market soon is something that will become clear in the coming weeks. Heidel, however, is sure that there is no real urgency. The club made the conscious decision to build a small squad back in the summer. “We sat down for a long time together yesterday. Now everyone should switch off for a week and then we’ll talk again and decide whether we need to do something. One advantage is that we’ve got a long winter break. I’m not expecting the transfer market to suddenly kick into life tomorrow, things are more likely to happen in December or January.”

Heidel revealed that the club would have the funds to be able to active, if required. “Our finances are healthy and we’ve paid the stadium off. However, we know we can only spend a certain amount.” An important thing for Mainz is to not block the potential path of an academy player by bringing in a new signing. After Marlon Mustapha and Nelson Weiper both made their debuts in the Bundesliga this season, a number of other youngsters are waiting in the wings for their chance.

“Stepping up to the Bundesliga from the U19s is not something that happens every day. We’re really trying to push the lads we believe that could make it in the near future. We have to weigh up what’s best for the lads. I’m hopeful that we’ll see a few youth players in our first-team squad next year again,” added Heidel, who is also impressed by the academy here: “It’s a lot better than when I was previously at Mainz,” said Heidel, who returned in December 2020 following four years away. This is the club’s 14th consecutive Bundesliga campaign and Svensson’s team have gone into the winter break five points clear of the relegation zone. They will prepare for the second half of the season with two training camps in Spain, one in Mallorca and one in Andalusia.

The academy is a lot better than when I was previously at Mainz

 

“We’ve got two games to go in the first half of the season and six points to play for. After that, we could have a points tally that we’re satisfied with. We have to be more consistent,” said Heidel, who finished by adding that Mainz aren’t a club that are too good to get dragged into a relegation battle.