Our main aim is to build consistency and form
Sandro Schwarz: "Due to the points we have already this season, our sole focus for Matchday 23 will be to try and negate our weaknesses."
The winless run has come to an end in some style. 1. FSV Mainz 05 received a lot of praise for the manner in which they dismantled FC Schalke 04 in the OPEL ARENA on Saturday, securing a convincing 3-0 victory. “The match showed us that we have to come together as a group to get out of a difficult situation,” said 05ers head coach Sandro Schwarz on Tuesday during an interview. “It was proof that you can recover from three consecutive defeats by coming together as a team. Contextually, we have always believed in ourselves and worked hard to secure all three points in front of our fans.”
The team were in high spirits as they began training on Tuesday morning. Apart from René Adler and Danny Latza, who was rested from the session, the entire 05ers squad trained. Additionally, the players who were injured for the Schalke match or missed the victory with illness also trained for part of the session, including long-term absentees Philipp Mwene and Emil Berggreen.
05ers got in behind the back line on 66 occassions
Sandro Schwarz held a meeting with his squad on Tuesday to analyse Saturday’s performance. “The piczures showed that we defended aggressively against Schalke but we could’ve done better in our positional play. Nevertheless, this was still good and we were dynamic and put a lot of energy into our performance,” said the 05ers head coach. “On 25 occasions, we won the ball in our opponents’ half whilst getting in behind the Schalke back line on 66 occasions which is a record for this season.” On average, the 05ers outplay opposition defences on 38 occasions each match and Schwarz was especially satisfied with how some fringe players performed on their inclusions in the starting lineup. “When you have players who haven’t played for a while but are ready to play whenever called upon, such as Giulio Donati, then this is a sign of self-responsibility and of professionalism.
The squad is always ready for action and this isn’t always easier for some of the fringe players who don’t always play. However, the performance against Schalke proved that every player can be rewarded if they put in maximum effort in training. “There is a lot of competition in the squad. We have a lot of different options and are performing at a strong standard. This is good and it is important for us to have such a good dynamic in the squad at this stage of the season. It is never a problem if you have several players performing at a strong standard. This may give me, as head coach, some difficult decisions to make but this is exactly what we want to see. It is perfect,” said the 40-year-old coach.
“We’re not making any estimations”
With 30 points in the league and 14 points above the relegation zone, the team is doing well. But Schwarz emphasised once more that he has no intention of changing his objectives. “We’ve never been worried about the situation of the table, from the first day up until now, and never set ourselves a points goal. So we shouldn’t start doing any of these things now – we’re not making any estimations. Our task is simply to improve every week. Development is the best way for us. With the amount of points we have, we have a big advantage that we only need to concern ourselves with what we can do better on Matchday 23,” explained Schwarz.
"Of course it makes us feel good. We don't need to discuss our position in the table anymore though over our football or our game. We don't want to speak too soon. Who knows what could happen..." Naturally as a player and a coach you keep an eye on the table. "We never take anything from our position in the table. If we feel the players have taken their foot off the gas, we will give them a kick. It's that simple. We know that we are 14 points above the relegation zone. However, that does not change our focus and motivation on the pitch. Our aim is to put in a top performance on Saturday – one that would make the fans proud. We want to build consistency, that's our ultimate goal." For Schwarz, there is still plenty to do.