Pros 22.11.2018 — 20:40 Uhr

Schwarz: „Bring something extraordinary“

Zerofiver's coach Sandro Schwarz eagerly anticipates a top class performance in the home game on Saturday against league leaders Borussia Dortmund.

With the exception of Jean-Pierre Mateta, who has a minor thigh injury, all international players from Mainz are healthy and game-ready following their returns from international duty. Sandro Schwarz (…). “As soon as the final whistle blew in Freiburg, the anticipation turned towards what was yet to come. We’re really looking forward to come back to our fans and bring something extraordinary,” said the coach in a press conference two days before the match against the league leaders.

With the 3-1 away win in Freiburg, who had had two wins in a row, the Zerofivers successfully summarized their previous few weeks. “We feel that our tactics are in place, that we are working very well when we don’t have the ball and are switching our play well,” said Schwarz. “At the moment we are in a development process and very happy with it. We know, however, that the there is room for improvement and we can strive to be better.”

Meeting the highest demands

Against the incredible front-runners, who have been in immense form as of late due to their high aggressive pressing, a top performance will be needed from the home side. “For us the game is about meeting our highest demands and putting in a great performance. We of course know what quality BVB will bring to the game. We need to put in a top class performance to deal with top class opposition. If we can contain them, then we can dare to go for something more,” explained Schwarz. “We have great respect for the team, that at the moment, are the best in the Bundesliga, but of course you always have a chance. There are always moments in a game when you can nick something. It is not the case that a team can be totally dominant for 90 minutes. In these phases, where we show our ability, we can usually get a goal. It will be important for us to be at a maximum intensity, defend well, remember our positioning and press hard when we lose the ball.”

His team must also play with courage. “If we have the ball, we should strive to play it forward with pace, come into the box with vigor and show the other team that we are dangerous. Everything we’ve been working on in the last few weeks we want to bring to the game against the league leaders.” The Opel Arena on Saturday is sold out for the second time this season and should be a real boost for the team. “That’s a good feeling,” said the coach. “We have the responsibility to react to the atmosphere and raise it minute by minute.”

Zentner still a doubt

There are a few worries ahead of the game on Saturday. Philipp Mwene is out due to injury and Robin Zentner was out of action for two days this week due to a gastrointestinal infection. “We hope that after a check today he will maybe at least be able to return to training and be fit by Saturday,” said Schwarz. Should that not be the case, Jannik Huth will appear between the sticks, Finn Dahmen will sit on the bench if Florian Müller is still not ready for action. “We are sure in this case that we have enough goalkeepers to deal with the situation,” said the head coach, who luckily has a number of Bundesliga-proven players. René Adler was also involved in running training on Tuesday. “René is at least back in his running shoes and is on his way to recovery,” said Schwarz.