“Need a good performance”
The Zerofiver’s coach wants to build on a good start to the season with three points this Saturday at home against FC Augsburg, which looks set to be a highly intense game.
Both FSV Mainz 05 and FC Augsburg are two out of five teams who have four points after the first two games of this season. “Of course it is our aim to give 100% in the game and to win,” said Sandro Schwarz in the press conference, two days before the game (Saturday 15:30 CEST) at the Opel Arena. “We lost both games last year against them but we have started this season well and we look forward to continuing our form and want to get all three points.”
This game will prove to be a highly intense affair. Augsburg beat Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-1 and drew 1-1 at home against Borussia Mönchengladbach, and so have proven to be a very difficult opposition who are always dangerous in attack, highly physical and very good in transition from defence to attack. With these qualities, they beat Mainz 3-1 last year. “We expect the game to be very competitive. Maybe it will not be a game where you see beautiful football, but a game which is highly intense, with many counter-attacking situations. We have to make sure we get stuck in, make the next step of development in terms of intensity, find ways to score and bring a lot of speed and intelligent runs to the game,” said Schwarz.
“We can only work hard for the fans that come”
A standard performance will not get the result that we want against an opposition like Augsburg. “We will need an extraordinary performance and also the crowd to back us. It is important for our young team that we always have the crowd behind us,” said the 39-year-old. Mainz have not been able to sell out their stadium but the head coach said, “We’ve talked about this last season and all we can do is give our best, work hard and not worry about how many seats have been sold out. We will give 100% for the fans who do come. We want the fans to go home after the game and say that the Mainz players are a team who are now completely exhausted after the game, regardless of the outcome. The problem with decreasing number of fans is not just at Mainz. All we can do is try and make the fans who come happy.”
There are still some problems with players even after the international break but Schwarz still has a lot of players at his disposal. Jean-Philippe Gbamin will not be ready for the game and is still only in light training following his muscle injury. New signing Issah Abass missed training on Wednesday due to illness.
Müller fit again
Levin Öztunali returned to first-team training on Wednesday and the player made a good impression during the session. “We feel that he can maybe get 20 minutes of game time right now,” said the head coach. Goalkeeper Florian Müller is completely match fit following his ankle injury. “For him, it was important to take a week off and spend some time with the physiotherapist,” said Schwarz. Aaron Martin returned to Mainz tired following a tough game with the Spanish U21s, but has since returned to training and should play on Saturday. All other international players returned to the Bruchweg in good condition and are raring to go on Saturday.
“We are confident and ready for the difficult game on Saturday. We are ready to win our individual battles and as a team against Augsburg and take the next step towards becoming better,” said an optimistic Sandro Schwarz.