"Now we must continue"
Danny Latza's comments on this unusual situation, Lichte leads his first training session.
On Tuesday morning, Jan-Moritz Lichte led the first training session of the international break, he was helped out by Michael Falkenmayer. Both coaches will lead the first team until such a time as the club can appoint a new head coach. “Even if it is a strange situation for us all at the moment, we have to kick on and keep on working. We’ll see how it goes”, said 05 captain Danny Latza after training.
On Sunday, the day after FSV’s 3-2 home defeat to Union Berlin, sporting director Rouven Schröder published the news of Sandro Schwarz and 1. FSV Mainz 05 parting ways by mutual consent. Two days after the former Mainz player’s departure from the club, the transition is proving difficult for everyone involved.
“It was a really emotional time after the decision on Sunday. Rouven spoke to us and gave us some advice. The coach [Schwarz] then said his goodbyes to us. After that, we all had to process the events individually”, Latza explained. The midfielder conceded that the whole ordeal had been very emotional for him personally. “I think everyone here knows what kind of head coach we had. But, now we must continue.”
The thirteen outfield players and three goalkeepers, who have remained in Mainz over the international break, came out onto the training pitch late at Bruchweg. Lichte had been giving a speech in the dressing room. FSV’s captain wouldn’t reveal just what was said by Lichte, but Latza made it clear that the players would take on more responsibility than ever. “The team has to take a lot of the blame. The players brought about this situation. Every one of us has to be critical of themselves and think long and hard whether they gave it their all. Everyone must now be more aware of what this is all about”, Latza said. According to Latza, the players do not have a say in the search for a new head coach. “But what we can influence, is to keep on working and giving it everything in training. We must keep developing and we have to put the hammer down, even in Friday’s friendly against Darmstadt 98”.
Nothing has changed in terms of the content of training sessions, only the volume at which instructions are given. Lichte is much a much quieter soul than his former boss; he used the first session of the week to work on passages of play in tight spaces, pressing, turnovers, regaining the ball quickly after losing possession and counterattacking. To finish the session, Falkenmayer led a drill focused primarily on finishing from crosses and blocked shots. As painful as the measure taken on Sunday must have been for all involved, life must go on at Bruchweg.