Frustration tolerance needed for '2019 Showdown'
Achim Beierlorzer has prioritised recovery following the team’s 5-0 win against Werder midweek, hoping to give his players the energy to give absolutely everything against Leverkusen in the final game of the year.
Mainz will conclude their ‘Englische Woche’ and the 2019 calendar year with a home game. Following the thumping 5-0 victory in Bremen on Tuesday, the Zerofivers have set themselves up perfectly for a grand finale in the OPEL ARENA when Bayer 04 Leverkusen come to town on Saturday. Achim Beierlorzer is expecting a top opponent: "This is yet another big challenge for us, but that’s exactly what playing in the Bundesliga is all about," said the boss at the pre-match press conference.
At the Christmas Village by the Arena around 80 former Mainz players and coaches will be serving up the mulled wine at the family Christmas party ahead of kick off. Later, they and the supporters will take their seats and hope to watch the team give 2019 the perfect send-off and take another three points into the winter break.
"We need good frustration tolerance, as we definitely won’t have as much possession. Obviously we will be trying to win the ball back, but that won’t be so easy against Leverkusen," said the coach. Curiously, despite their possession rates, Peter Bosz’s men have almost scored more goals on the counter. Hertha managed to prevent any such incidents for the most part on Wednesday. "We’ve run a video analysis and we will be bringing our Mainz 05 nuances into it. We need a compact back line again, to make sure they can’t hit us with transitions."
The opposition are going into the game off the back of two defeats, and our aim is nothing less than to make it three from three for them. "We want to build on all the things we did well in Bremen," said Beierlorzer. The defensive display, for example: "It was so nice to keep a clean sheet there," said the 52-year-old, who has another defensive option at his disposal for Saturday in Jeremiah St. Juste, whose yellow card suspension has been served. On Tuesday, Alexander Hack filled in for the Dutchman at centre-back and put in a solid performance. "Alex had a superb game alongside Moussa. Now we’ve got another important player coming back into the picture. It’s a great situation for me as a coach," he said, without revealing who would start against Leverkusen.