Pros 07.12.2018 — 16:41 Uhr

Wanting a wholehearted performance

The Zerofiver’s head coach calls for caution ahead of the game against Hannover 96. Passion, good mentality and urgency is needed: Do not be put off by the opponent's place in the table

On Thursday evening, Sandro Schwarz and Rouven Schröder were in good spirits at the Mainz Christmas markets. All proceeds from the game will be donated to the “Spiel der Herzen” charity. “The atmosphere around the club is good. We felt good at the Christmas markets with the fans, they are happy the way we behave, the way we play football and we all hope that on Sunday we will put in a good performance and get another three points,” said Sandro Schwarz at the press conference two days before the home game.

The club has sold around 23,000 tickets for the home game on Sunday. The whole event will be heart warming, at least for the Mainz supporters. “We want to stay in the game, maintain the mentality from the last few weeks and show the fans again that we can play well and get them the three points,” said Schwarz.

Improvements from Düsseldorf

It will be necessary to play better in the second last home game before the winter break, compared to how Mainz played in the first half in Düsseldorf. “It was not good enough and we know that. We have to do better in terms of tempo, transitional play and our passing. In addition, it is important to avoid sloppy passing and to be more alert.” Schwarz will however, want to see the same passion from his team that brought home the three points last week. “We need the same mentality. We need to be forward thinking, not pass sideways the whole time, but try and create space and pass the ball into the space.”

The coach knows that it will not be an easy game against Hannover, who have only picked up two points away from home. “The team has worked very seriously this week. We know how difficult it is to win Bundesliga games and we realise that we have won three of our last four games. We know that we are in a good run of form right now and that our development is going the right way and so it is important to reward ourselves with another win and this time at home.”

Baku back in training

The aim of the match is to keep the three points in Mainz. Not like last season, when the Zerofivers lost 1-0 defeat in Schwarz’s first Bundesliga game. Schwarz did not want to discuss the result as these games are not comparable, because Mainz have a completely different team. "It was the first match day of the season and the mood created was not optimal."

The atmosphere for this game will be better. Nevertheless, Schwarz expects an emotional game. “Especially with Hannover’s situation,” as they have nine less points than Mainz, “We should not let ourselves get complacent due to where they are in the table. They are a team who will fight no matter who the opponents are,” said the 40-year-old who will have to do without the injured: Florian Müller, Phillipp Mwene and Gerrit Holtmann, who had his wisdom teeth pulled last week. Jannik Huth and Karim Onisiwo are available after recovering from illness. There is also good news for Ridle Baku, who was able to complete parts of first team training for the first time having recovered from injury.