Schwarz: It won’t be a walk in the park
Mainz 05 looking to secure Bundesliga spot with win over Fortuna Düsseldorf
In the midst of the Easter weekend festivities planned for the Opel Arena, Mainz are set to kick-off the first of their three remaining home games this season. “We’re planning on putting on a good show during the game as well,” said Sandro Schwarz in a press conference ahead of the match against Fortuna Düsseldorf. Both the coach and team have declared this as a crucial week as they look to secure their place in the Bundesliga for another year.
“We know that we can take a big step towards staying up, which is what we’re focusing on,” said Schwarz. With just five games remaining, a win against Düsseldorf means that Mainz can secure their place in the Bundesliga for next year. With a win, Mainz would be sitting on 36 points. If Stuttgart lose against Augsburg, then Mainz’s spot would also be secure. Even if Stuttgart were to win, Mainz’s 12 point lead with four games left to play and a goal difference of 18 would also be enough to guarantee a spot in the Bundesliga next season. Especially as Freiburg, Augsburg, and Schalke are all currently sitting below Mainz in the table.
Giving it their all
Schwarz and his players are highly motivated to secure their place by taking the three points at home, even if it won’t be an easy task. “No one should feel like Saturday’s match will be a walk in the park,” Schwarz said. “It will be a very difficult match. We will have to give it our all against our opponents, and we need the support of the fans in order to be successful.”
Düsseldorf have come a long way over the course of the season. Despite a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern last weekend, Düsseldorf is sitting on 37 points and has secured their spot for next season. Something which no one would have thought possible for the newcomer at the start of the season. Meanwhile, Mainz missed out on picking up a well-deserved point against Dortmund last weekend. The team’s strong performance in the second half however, is a source of confidence going into this weekend’s home game.
“If you compare where we are now to where we were last year at this time, the advantage we have now is being able to concentrate fully on what happens on the field, and not what’s going on outside of the club,” Schwarz said. “We’re all focused on what needs to be done in order to win our next game. We have a chance to achieve our goal during this game.”
Schwarz has put his team through intense preparation ahead of the match. The team has analyzed their performance against Dortmund and pinpointed what they need to do against Düsseldorf. “We had two intense training sessions, we’ve worked out, and then on Wednesday we had a tournament during training where we defended hard and scored many beautiful goals. Now we have two more days of training where we can perfect some final things ahead of Saturday.” Not likely to be in the squad against Düsseldorf is Stefan Bell, due to injury. The centre back sprained his foot during training and has yet to be given the okay to return. Niko Bungert will also not be fit in time for Saturday.