Pros 21.04.2022 — 15:31 Uhr

Svensson: “It’s a question of perspective”

Ahead of Friday’s clash with Wolfsburg, boss Bo Svensson spoke to the media about the high expectations, the state of the squad and Wolfsburg’s game changer.

Bo Svensson knows that Wolfsburg will be a tough test for his side

On Friday evening (20:30 CEST), The Zerofivers will travel to the Volkswagen Arena to face VfL Wolfsburg as the season reaches its climax. Mainz go into the game safe in the knowledge that their Bundesliga status for the 2022/23 season is guarenteed, which is a luxury that Friday’s oponnents have not yet earned. The Wolves are going into the contest off the back of a 6-1 drubbing to Borussia Dortund and will be looking to tighten up when Svensson’s side come to town, something which the boss is fully aware of: “After their last game against Dortmund we are expecting a very tough match.” Around 300 Zerofivers are expected to make the trip to Lower-Saxony.

Christian Heidel described Mainz’s guarenteed safety as “something very special”, after Mainz picked up a point against VfB Stuttgart last weekend. Although Mainz have only picked up two points from their last four games, they have put in some decent peformances, which the coach was also quick to highlight. The expectations are high, not least because the manager sets such high standards. “I was disapointed with the first half peformances against Stuttgart and Augsburg but you could also turn it around and say that we are in a position to increase our performance levels and show that we can play well. It is a question of perspective,” said the boss, who made it clear that the club cannot forget its roots: “It’s still Mainz 05 playing in the Bundesliga and we are coming out of a period which wasn’t always stable. Now all of a sudden we are expected to deliver 90 outstanding minutes of football every match.”

Light at the end of the tunnel for St. Juste and Hack also available

However, Bo Svensson wants to build on the good moments from the most recent games, such as the second half performances against Stuttgart, Gladbach and Augsburg or the first 80 minutes against Köln. “These periods in which we played well are our benchmarks and building on them is our goal,” said the Dane. He continued: “There were some good to decent phases in each of our most recent games. We have to build on them and also be clear that the way we played in some moments wasn’t good enough.”

These periods in which we played well are our benchmarks and building on them is our goal

 

Svensson has a similar squad to the game against Stuttgart to choose from. “Not a lot has changed since last time. Delano Burgzorg is out for the season. Jeremiah St. Juste may be able to take part in team training next week and we will have to see if he can maybe even feature in the last two games. Jae-Sung Lee will not be available tomorrow and Alexander Hack has recovered well and is an option for the game,” explained the gaffer, who expects a “tough game” against Wolfsburg.

Mainz went 2-0 up after just four minutes against Wolfsburg earlier in the season

Wolfsburg's game changer 

“You just need to look at how much money has been invested in their team, a team which qualified for the Champions League last season." Even though The Wolves have not lived up to expectations this season, they still “have the ability to play at a high level in all areas,” said Svensson.

The manager was also full of praise for one of Wolfsburg’s new additions in particular: “They have lots of good players and Max Kruse is certainly one of them. Everyone has known for years now that he can be a game changer. We experienced it earlier in the season when he played against us for Union Berlin,” recalled the FSV coach. “In that game he wasn’t especially dominant, but because of his individual quality, he can all of a sudden do something that changes the game. He is a very switched on player who can create something out of nothing,” warned the Dane.