"Not working collectively"
Sandro Schwarz analyses the 3-0 loss to Augsburg. On Friday evening Mainz continue on with the season when they face Bayer Leverkusen
Sandro Schwarz gathered himself. The coach has been suffering from illness for almost a week, and was not expecting to be greeted with a 3-0 loss to Augsburg at the end of it. Ahead of the first training session this week, the 40-year-old seemed fit, motivated and militant on Tuesday afternoon. “We’ve put this lethargic performance on Sunday behind us and analysed it. It was just not good,” said the coach. “However now we are working intensely towards the game against Bayer Leverkusen and what we can bring to that match. We want to show the face of Mainz 05 that, before the Augsburg game, brought us to where we are in the table.” On Friday evening (20:30) the Zerofivers play their second home game of the Rückrunde in the OPEL Arena.
The analysis of the game against Augsburg, in very snowy and harsh conditions, helped form insights into what the Zerofivers needed for future games. “We had the same feelings that we had during the game, after the game, and for a few maybe even before the game,” said Schwarz. “We weren’t in a position to get anything from the match in terms of a result with the kind of football we played. There was obviously the questionable decisions of the two handballs that earned Augsburg two penalties, Danny Latza’s concussion, the poor movement to create space, bad shape and so on. Everything combined played a role.
Different reactions to the penalties
Of course the two penalties played a big part in the game and can be discussed to no end. Augsburg were a team that were without a win in ten and it seemed the Zerofivers were favourites. “Of course you can react differently when you feel you’ve been handed an unfair deal,” explained the coach, who did not criticise singular players. “It did not work collectively. We had no outlet up front and our gegenpressing did not come to fruition. A lot of things that worked well up front in previous weeks just weren’t there during the game. We didn’t do well in man-to-man marking and didn’t have good cover for counter-attacks. You got the feeling that when we had the ball it was actually an advantage for the opposition. We know that we can be better. We need the end result as well as the build up. We will never be the team that loses a game and says that we completely outplayed the opponents. We have an opportunity on Friday to show a better performance.”
There will always be critics of young teams, even though they have done very well up until this point, and some days will just bring about certain criticisms. “That’s happened with many other teams in the past. You have to just take it on the chin. The game was another step in a development process.” This time around it’s a slightly different complexion to the other two successful games of the Rückrunde.
“Then comes the subject of being in a good position after two wins, despite the loss at the weekend. We’ve received lot of praise for the way we play and you have to have a good feeling about Friday because of the carnival festivities. That’s something we’ve learned from the third game, it was a real learning curve. When you have good feelings and are really up for the game it brings you to a new level. This excitement is no constant, we have to always work on it. In every training session, in every game. That’s how it goes.”
Schwarz then talked about the task that the team have ahead of them, “We want to make what is already a great situation better. Independent of the results before, the atmosphere will be great. I’m not interested anymore about how the Augsburg game went, when the whistle blows, it’s a new game.” The game is just over the horizon on Friday evening. “We’re all happy to have a short week. When you have a poor game, you want to quickly get into the swing of the next one. That’s why a Friday evening game is so good for us. A home game under the lights with fans watching us play against a very good opponent who just beat Bayern.”