"We have to take every chance we get"
The Zerofivers will face off against VfL Wolfsburg on 05 family day – Schröder breaks the tie down
1. FSV Mainz 05 will go in to their home game confidence against Europa League participants VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday (15.30 CEST) full of confidence as they look to improve their position in the Bundesliga table. "We won’t just sit back because they’re a good team, we want to score. We are looking forward to going head to head with them,” said Rouven Schröder in a press conference two days before the third home game of the season.
"Our situation is the way it is – we have three points from five games and we have to deal with that," said the sporting director. “We can’t play with fear of losing points, we have to continue to get forward and keep asking questions of the opposition. We can’t say we didn’t expect a dogfight before the season or that we expected to have a relatively relaxed campaign. Some clubs will settle for somewhere between fourth and seventh, we can’t say that," said the 43-year-old. “Working hard, that’s how we operate. That's what Sandro works on with his team, it’s plain to see every team the lads train, they’re at 100%. It's about keeping at the same level for the full 90 minutes and improving the things through post-game analysis. "
First half hour without conceding
During the 2-1 defeat in Gelsenkirchen, it was clear that the players made crucial mistakes at both ends, but there is a “remarkable” statistic that still stands this season for Mainz. "We are the only team in the Bundesliga not to concede a goal in the first 30 minutes. This shows that we do a lot of things well, but it also tells us that we have to start staying concentrated throughout the whole match, not just in the first 30 minutes. That means being alert, being on your toes and helping each other, "said the 05-coach. “Nine goals is too many to have conceded so early in the season.” The coach stresses, however, that this has nothing to do with team structure, but with individual mistakes.
To illustrate all these aspects in training, there were different approaches during the week. On Tuesday, Schwarz promoted the aggressive aspect of defence, tackling with desire and intent. A day later, the coach took out the aggression and put more emphasis on defending as a team. "We wanted that high level of aggression in training because we want to use that on Saturday. We’re playing a defensively strong opponent who haven’t lost a game yet and who’ll press us off the ball," said the 40-year-old. "In the next session, we then tried to work on team structure and defending as a unit. Most of all we’re trying to give the players a bit more self-confidence when they defend."
"We have to focus on what’s important"
VfL Wolfsburg, who have got two wins and three draws so far this season, will be just as tough an opponent under new coach Oliver Glasner as they were last season under Bruno Labbadia. The new coach from Austria has ditched a back four and has introduced a new system which seems them play three at the back in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation. "They play with a clear structure, with an aggressive attitude. They put pressure on the man with the ball and get out quickly on the counter with dangerous attackers," said Schwarz. It means his team will have to be active all the time. "I don’t care if I repeat myself all the time to the players, we have to play at a high intensity for the entire game or we won’t win, it’s a simple as that. We have to focus on what’s important: intensity and pressing the opposition off the ball. If we do those things well, our quality going forward will come naturally."