Svensson: "Learn to deal with it"
The Mainz head coach, who has Dominik Kohr available again, spoke ahead of the away game at FC Augsburg on Wednesday night
Bo Svensson is a busy man at the moment. Having only played Gladbach on Sunday, the Mainz head coach was back at the MEWA ARENA on Tuesday for the pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s trip to play FC Augsburg (18:30 CEST). The Mainz players are naturally also busy, as they will be looking to build on their second 45 minutes in the draw at Mönchengladbach. Ex-Augsburg man Dominik Kohr is available again after suspension.
The Mainz squad will only fly down south on Wednesday morning, requiring a hotel only for the day as they will return straight back home after the game at the WWK Arena. One key topic is the recovery time for the players, just like it has been over the last two days.
Kohr set to return to the starting XI
“Everybody has recovered well from the Gladbach game,” reported Svensson at the start of the pre-match press conference. He will have the same players available to him, plus Dominik Kohr, who is back after serving a suspension for five yellow cards. “Dominik is fully fit and is an option for us,” explained the Dane. It wouldn’t be surprising if the midfielder returned to the starting XI given his importance to the Zerofivers’ game.
Another thing in the 28-year-old’s favour is his physical presence, which will certainly be needed against such a tough team to play at home, who also won 3-0 last time out there against VfL Wolfsburg, though they aren’t yet clear of the drop. The Mainz boss is well aware of their situation: “Things often haven’t gone to plan for them this season. They did, however, pick up a deserved win over Wolfsburg last time out and you could see what they’re capable of. They’ve got the experience to cope with this situation. They’re a really physical side. They’ve got a chance to take a big step towards safety tomorrow,” warned Svensson.
They’ve got a chance to take a big step towards safety tomorrow
The difference fans can make
In order to stop Augsburg collecting more important points, Svensson wants his team to play like they did in the second half at Gladbach, where they had Borussia pinned in their own half for large parts of the second period. Nevertheless, Mainz’s away record is still not what it should be this season. One reason for that, according to Svensson, is the difference fans make. “In the second half of last season when there were no fans in stadiums, we took more points on the road than we did at home. That’s obviously not the only reason, that would be too simple, but it’s part of it and our team needs to learn how to deal with this. The match at Gladbach was an important experience for us. There were over 40,000 fans there cheering against us. We know exactly what we need to do to play well in games like this,” stated the coach, who will be hoping his players have learned things from this game ahead of the next away trip in the Bundesliga.
The match at Gladbach was an important experience for us.
As usual, Svensson isn’t setting a points target for the upcoming two games. For him, it’s more important that the team can avoid periods of the game where they are too passive, like against the Foals last Sunday. “Our main aim is to perform well. We want to build on the second half against Gladbach. I’ll be happy if we play four halves like this, regardless of how many points we get.”