Pros 08.09.2022 — 16:59 Uhr

Staying in the “flow” of things – in two respects

Svensson: sold-out away block in Hoffenheim “an additional incentive” – Zerofivers want to build on the first 60 minutes of the Gladbach game against TSG Hoffenheim.

Svensson: sold-out away block in Hoffenheim “an additional incentive” – Zerofivers want to build on the first 60 minutes of the Gladbach game against TSG Hoffenheim.

New week, new challenge: after the third away win of the season against Borussia Möchengladbach, 1. FSV Mainz 05 will face an opponent on Saturday afternoon (15:30 CEST) who have started the season well (9 points / 8:6 goal ratio) and who also have plenty of “individual quality,” as Mainz head coach Bo Svensson reiterated during his press conference on Thursday afternoon.

The Zerofivers will be supported by up to 4,000 fans at the venue, where, in Svensson’s view, his team put in their “best away performance of the whole season” across both of the last two seasons (2-1 & 2-0). Tickets for the away block have been sold out since the start of the week.

What does this support mean? “The support has been noted in every game this season. Also, when we are outnumbered away, then that’s our block. The more there are, the better. That is an extra incentive for us to play well,” Svensson beamed.

 

                When we are outnumbered, then that’s our block of fans.

Compact Hoffenheim taking fewer risks

However, Svensson did not have to emphasise the task at hand for FSV in Kraichgau, who would set a new club record with a fifth away win in a row. Under new head coach Andre Breitenreiter, Hoffenheim are adopting a slightly different style of play. They are structurally more compact and are visibly trying to concede fewer goals: “They are taking fewer risks in their build-up and are attacking with fewer players. It is clear, however, that their squad is full of individual quality.” Quality that is comparable to that of Borussia Gladbach’s, who FSV defeated last weekend 1-0. “We have to believe in our own strengths and cannot be taken by surprise at the quality of our opponents. We must never lose our self-confidence when things go differently to how we might have imagined them going,” said the Dane, who was alluding to the victory over Möchengladbach, which looked on the ropes at times despite Mainz outnumbering the Foals.

We must never lose our self-confidence when things go differently to how we might have imagined them going.

Bo Svensson has faced Hoffenheim twice as Mainz head coach, winning both times.

A problem that needs to be addressed: “In that stage of the game, we stopped going forward in a targeted, effective way. That intensity that we had shown before on the pitch, in fighting for the ball, we just stopped doing it. That’s often the case, that you maybe take your foot off the gas a bit. We did that. We slackened off.”

The performance is the main priority

While the game in Gladbach has naturally been dealt with by the team, the coaching staff would like to build on the successful start in their day-to-day work and in their analysis. The demands for good performances in no way takes away from the importance of striving for the three points, as the former player explained: The positive run of form away from home is not the central theme here. “Quite rightly, it feels good to win away from home. But it’s not a matter of course and we can take it in our stride. It’s not a big issue for us as a squad. What is more important to us is the flow in terms of performances – how we actually perform on the pitch. That’s what I have to focus on in my role. We’re always looking to improve, regardless of the result. Looking at our performances in detail gives us more security in the long term. We know the areas that we need to improve. At the same time, we need the results to back up the progress that we’ve made recently.” Ideally, in front of thousands of loud Mainz fans in Kraichgau.

                It’s not a big issue for us as a squad.

For the trip to Hoffenheim, Svensson will, like before, be without the services of Marcus Ingvartsen, whilst the condition of Anton Stach (hip problem) and Jae-sung Lee (swollen foot) are still questionable. “We will have to wait and see for both of them at tomorrow’s training session,” clarified the head coach.