"We can't let our heads drop"
Zerofivers head coach Sandro Schwarz admits the situation isn’t pleasant, but says he has to face up to the task with his team and to improve their situation in the league.
Detailed analysis of the previous game, identifying what went wrong and then aiming to improve these areas on the training ground. These remain the main pillars in the 1. FSV Mainz 05 weekly routine. Sandro Schwarz underlined this on Tuesday in the usual media round after training. Even though he’s repeated himself frequently when talking about the club’s current situation, "that doesn't mean that I'm not right or that it means any less. We do plenty of things well, especially in our own box and the opponent’s. We need to work on some things in between," explained the Zerofivers head coach.
Schwarz discussed the current situation of the team after the 1-0 defeat at the OPEL ARENA against VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga very passionately and emotionally with the journalists after the first training session this week. Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel was missing this week because of tonsillitis and Danny Latza came back after overcoming injury. "Three points from six games," said the 40-year-old, "that's not a great situation to be in, but it’s not the end of the world, we have to face this task. Certain things take time and effort, we know that. We’ve been working incredibly hard in training and we feel we have brought a certain freedom to our game. Still we have to keep working if we’re to put an end to our problems."
We don’t take enough risks with our passes
The analysis shows that in the games the team won last season, they had significantly fewer passages of play and pass sequences. Dealing with crosses has so frequently been a problem so far this season for Mainz – lapses in concentration have occurred on many set pieces which have led to them conceding too many goals. "Straightforwardness, determination, traction", the coach names the three points that his team are currently struggling with. "We had a lot of crosses on our end and we got in to their box too, but not in the frequency we needed to score goals," said Schwarz. "We have to become more streamlined and get back to how we used to play. We didn’t make any more mistakes in this game than in the games we’ve won this season and last season. In the games that we won, we played more balls in to the box, took risks with our passes into the channels and got in between the lines far more, especially against opponents who sat deep. As a result, we did better against the press and had more of the ball in their box," emphasised Schwarz.
Except for Bayern, no one has outplayed us here
The Zerofivers coach is still not complaining about the absence of striker Jean-Philippe Mateta, who was sensational for Mainz before his injury, scoring 15 goals, or the failings of new recruit Dong-Won Ji in attack, because Schwarz wants to avoid excuses. “My job is to do the best we can, with the team that we have available,” he said. “Of course, we know about JP’s quality, especially with regard to his ability to drop deep and level of finishing. But we can’t complain. We know the situation and can create opportunities with other types of players,” he said. “We’ve played against top teams so far and we’ve had every chance of winning those games, that’s a fact. Except for Bayern, no one has outplayed us here. We were definitely in with a shout in five matches. That is the truth and can’t be blamed on me being idealistic.”