Pros 23.01.2020 — 15:28 Uhr

“You can make a statement in every game”

Rouven Schröder is hoping for a “good day and a certain level of effectiveness” for the Zerofivers’ away game in Mönchengladbach – Beierlorzer is looking for his squad to be compact and unified

Karim Onisiwo and his teammates fell 3-1 to Gladbach in the 2019/20 Hinrunde.

Mainz 05’s traditional Carnival charity benefit on Tuesday night was meant as a sort of team building exercise for the squad and coaching staff, according to Achim Beierlorzer. Two days on, the head coach is still raving about the event. “A great event all-round,” the 52-year-old said. But, the night definitely had no impact on the team’s focus ahead of the upcoming away match against the league’s third-placed team on Saturday. Instead, the evening together in the Electoral Palace helped strengthen the bond within the team. “We have a huge challenge ahead of us in Mönchengladbach, and we’re looking forward to it,” Beierlorzer said in a press conference two days prior to kick-off.

“I was fascinated by the whole evening,” said the native Franconian, who had never experienced such a Carnival event before. “It was really something special, for the team as well.” The joint entrance and the wild and crazy outfits are part of the club’s identity, which includes the city and its culture. Beierlorzer attended the event dressed as Julius Caesar, while the rest of his coach staff dressed up as Gauls.

“The Gauls don’t have enough characters to allow each member of our coaching staff to dress as a different character, so we had to expand it to include the Romans,” said Beierlorzer. He added that he hopes having dressed up as a commander sets a good tone for the weekend ahead. After all, Caesar is well-known for the saying “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”).

Defend well and be brave

Beierlorzer's strategy for Saturday's game in the Borussia-Park is built upon the "closeness and compactness that we often show away from home. It makes it really hard for our opponents to score. We simply need to defend well. That's the first thing. We also need to be brave in order to beat their press and play with a good tempo to threaten them." He went on to say that in this match, it's important to defend together. "Of course we can't just go there and defend for 90 minutes though; we need to take our chances with quality and our quick forwards, if we want to cause Gladbach issues."

Gladbach: strong at home

The Zerofivers, who will have to make do without the suspended Pierre Kunde, want to be compact without defending too deep. "It'll be about not letting Gladbach into the game, wining the ball back, beating the press and getting forward quickly." It's clear to Beierlorzer that this won't be easy, because ex-Zerofiver Marco Rose's team has the best home record in the Bundesliga, with seven home wins to date. "I watched them at home against Augsburg, they completely overran the opposition. We need to avoid this," Beierlorzer explained. "We know what we have to do there and who the favourites are. But we want to chuck everything at it and make it as difficult as possible for Gladbach."

The Zerofivers under Beierlorzer have already proven that this is possible with the away wins against Hoffenheim and Bremen. "You can make a statement in every game," explained Rouven Schröder. The sporting director called upon his players to focus on their own strengths. "We don't have to hope that Gladbach have a few absentees or hit a bad form. They're the best home team in the league. They had an impressive Hinrunde. They're convincing and embody what Marco Rose's about. We know how hard it'll be. But we've never been without our chances in Gladbacgh." Schröder's recipe: "we need to have a good day and a certain effectiveness."