“It really hurts”
FSV’s sporting director speaks in the wake of Sandro Schwarz’s departure. An external successor is being looked for.
On Sunday afternoon, Rouven Schröder spoke to the press in the wake of FSV Mainz 05 and Sandro Schwarz parting ways by mutual consent. Schwarz departed following the 3-2 home defeat to Union Berlin in the Bundesliga.
Outwardly, Schröder appeared resolute, yet deeply aggrieved, as he attempted to rationally explain just why he ultimately had to take the decision to let Schwarz go. Schwarz seemed to bleed Mainz like few former head coaches ever had, given that he is a lifelong 05 fan and made over 100 appearances for the club. “We didn’t take this decision lightly. We have come a long way together. I understand that my job requires me to unconditionally stand behind the head coach through the good times and the bad. It is not positive and it really hurts when you reach a point where you are parting ways by mutual consent”, Schröder said.
A loss for all
“I was convinced by Sandro as a head coach and as a person. Many people do not know just how passionate he was about this club and how much he loved his players. He always gave everything for Mainz”, Schröder added with a downbeat tone. “It affects me personally, because some players had to hear directly from me that this is a loss for us all and that we are the point where we should all start questioning just where it is we are going.”
However, Schröder also made it clear that it was necessary to take this step. He explained that lots of discussions were had in the club and attention was drawn to the team after the 8-0 defeat to Leipzig. The team sat down and discussed it between themselves. “After a game like yesterday’s, the disappointment is obviously even greater. We expected a lot more from the team’s overall performance and at the same time we felt that the situation reflected all the unrest, not only inwardly but also, more importantly, to the outside”, Schröder explained.
“I cannot say that it is about the club and then not do anything about it. We discussed it and asked ourselves, ‘how do we proceed, what can we do better, why didn’t it work the way we imagined?’ And: ‘are we still in a position to work with this set-up? Are we going to get an atmosphere of unity back in the club?’ When everyone is focusing only on the negative things, it is impossible to get out of this spiral. We have always said that if we are not 100% convinced of the project, we would have to take this step and deal with it. That was the case in this situation.”
Lichte as an interim solution
The Mainz sporting director told the press that the decision had been taken by the board on Sunday morning. Schröder once more took the team into his care. “I had to get straight to the point. I noticed that the players were in a state of shock. Nobody in the dressing room took the news easily. Nonetheless, it remains important that the players do their jobs, regardless of who stands before them as coach”, Schröder said.
Schwarz said his goodbyes to the players afterwards. A new chapter is beginning at Bruchweg. “We are looking for a new head coach immediately”, the 44 year old said. “Now is the time to look forwards, to find a really good solution for the club and to make the day-to-day operations better. That is our task. It is a warning for us all, because none of us wanted this to happen. A situation like this must make everybody ponder.”
Assistant coach Jan-Moritz Lichte will lead the training sessions over the international break. However, Schröder made it clear that the club is, in all likelihood, searching for an external replacement for Schwarz. “We received the first calls from agents just 25 seconds after the publication of the news about Sandro”, the Dutchman reported. “We definitely won’t be pressed into action. A quick decision is no use if it is not the right one.”