Schwarz: “Logical development”
Away win in Freiburg proves hard work is paying off. The Zerofivers coach trusts his team whatever happens. “That is life.”
The group that trained on Tuesday afternoon, the first training session of the week during the international break, was smaller than usual. 12 players have joined up with their respective national teams. The remaining players stayed in Mainz and will work with Sandro Schwarz. The 3-1 victory in Freiburg shows that the team is on the right path. “The victory is proof that our hard work is paying off and we are improving. We have developed our quality, in which we can trust each other when we are in stressful situations on the pitch.”
Naturally, the Zerofiver’s coach analysed his team’s performance thoroughly. It was their second victory in a row. “We don’t usually win two games on the trot,” said the 40-year-old. Last season’s relegation battle victories against Leipzig and Dortmund have been a base from where to work from for the Zerofivers.
Room for improvement still
For Schwarz, the three points in the Schwarzwaldstadion was completely logical. “I think our success comes from what we have been doing during the week. The important thing for our young team is that they learn slowly how good they are. That usually only comes with experience.” Schwarz reiterated how good his team were off the ball, in their transitional play, being aggressive and active in defence and their well organised diamond in the midfield; whether it was a 4-4-2 or a 5-4-1. “Our diamond midfield in the first half was outstanding at keeping the ball. We were dangerous in the penalty area, made runs from deep and had good shots from distance. We won the ball 20 times in their half which is impressive.”
However, there is still room for improvement. “In the phases of play where we were not dominant, we simply have to learn to create more chances on the counterattack,” said the coach. “Between the 45th and 60th minute we had to seal the game and that would have been the perfect result. It was a very good game though.” The counterattacking at the beginning of the second half is something the team needs to improve on. "The fact that you always have phases in the game in which the opponent dominates a bit and presses, is normal, especially when playing in their stadium." The pressure grew in the second half because Mainz left the flanks open and gave the opponents opportunities to play forward with speed. This resulted in some big opportunities for SC Freiburg. "We just have to show more tackling strength," said Schwarz.
“It’s up to us”
"The main focus in such phases, especially if you have the result on your side, is to keep your balance, play on the counter. We can do this but it is something we can improve on. "A small step in this direction was always going to happen but we finished the game off when Karim Onisiwo scored to make it 3-1.
There is a lot of talent and potential in the squad. “We trust the team a lot and we are making strides forwards. It’s fun to work with the lads. The feeling of togetherness is very clear and you can see everyone is just having fun. You can see it on the pitch too,” emphasised Schwarz. “It’s important that the fans can see after every game the players have put in 100% and that they have a lot of potential. Sandro Schwarz concluded by saying: “It’s up to us now to perform on the pitch every week. We know that we can still improve. We want to show our improvements and become better.”