Pros 28.03.2019 — 18:44 Uhr

Schwarz demands intensity

Mainz head coach wants to see a traditional Mainz performance – something that has been lacking recently. The head coach wants to benefit from the experience and self-belief gained in the international break.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin was on the score sheet in the reverse fixture.

More than 1,600 supporters will make the trip to Bremen, as the international break comes to an end on Saturday afternoon, kick off 15:30 CET. With the fans behind them, Mainz will hope the game goes similarly to the reverse fixture, when they were able to claim all three points. Mainz’ international players have certainly been able to find their self confidence once again and will look to take this momentum into Saturday along with their club teammates.

It is well known that the international break is a time for reflection. As highlighted by Schwarz in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s match against Bremen, complacency does not help. Through individual and group discussions, video analysis and clear team talks, Schwarz hopes to change the club’s bad fortune, and will hope that the players can replicate the hard work shown regularly in training for 90 minutes on the weekend. “We have been going through a difficult stage recently,” said Schwarz. “However, everyone has the ability to self-reflect – we have discussed complacency and morale. We are all frustrated with six defeats in seven games. The good news is that we know how to get through it.”

“From the very first minute”

It is all about getting out of the comfort zone. Recently, the opponents have found it too easy to create chances on goal. The aspects of play that Schwarz wants to see have been evident in spells of the current season. The demands for every game need to be clear – high intensity. We can’t rely only on the quality of our players; we need the right mentality and the right shape,” explained Schwarz. “We know that we have demonstrated all of these aspects before. We want and need to maintain our belief in our own capabilities. It must be evident from the very first minute.”

Mainz had a similar spell in the first half of the season, when they went through a run of six games without a win. Incidentally, the Zerofivers ended that particular run with a victory over Saturday’s opponents, Werder Bremen, with a 2-1 win. On Saturday, the task will be stopping a strong Bremen side, rather than focusing solely on their own style of play. For Schwarz, Bremen are a high but not impossible hurdle; the head coach described the north German side as a “very good footballing team with a good shape,” and identified the “outstanding” Max Kruse as a threat. Mainz will be helped by the return of their international players who were in good form for their respective countries. Robin Quaison scored twice in his last game for Sweden, whilst Levin Öztunali scored once in two games for the German U21 side. “Of course the returning national players bring a good feeling to the group. They took advantage of the break by contributing to goals and winning matches.” The players’ recent experiences will be very helpful to a Mainz side looking to break out of a recent bad spell.