NEITHER SATISFIED NOR IN A MOOD FOR DEPARTURE
According to Bo Svensson, he is best placed to praise - "I see first and foremost where we are coming from, where we are today and where we would most like to go in the future from my point of view".
The Zerofivers and above all the head coach have been showered with (media) praise in recent days. The victory over record champions Bayern Munich had once again raised eyebrows and at the same time meant another important step towards the goal of staying in the Bundesliga. Bo Svensson answered a journalist's question during a media round on Wednesday afternoon by saying that he was able to deal with the numerous articles and comments praising his performance as well as that of the team. "I can categorise it well. I know the industry and the way it works, but first and foremost I see where we are coming from, where we are today and where we would most like to be in the future from my point of view," the Dane said. This is his sole focus.
Following Saturday afternoon's success, the coaching team first gave its players two well-deserved days off before returning to the training pitch on Tuesday. "It was a session to get into the swing of things," Svensson reported. "Today we really stepped on the gas again with a view to the game against Hertha." The opponent, who will present themselves at the OPEL ARENA on Monday evening (6pm CET), can only dream of comparable conditions at the moment and is staying closed in the imposed team quarantine until Thursday. "It is certainly not an advantage for Hertha, but it can release other forces. They will come out with a big dose of energy and be up for the game." He added that they will be prepared for the best possible Hertha team, which has a lot of quality. "That's how we're going to approach the game," the 41-year-old made it clear that the match would by no means be taken lightly.
...not at all the feeling that we are satisfied
Especially since there have long been examples that indicate that a two-week break from the game does not have to be an immediate advantage for the opponent; in League Two, SV Sandhausen and Holstein Kiel have recently made a successful comeback from quarantine. In any case, the 05 coach emphasised, there was nothing to suggest that his players would be influenced by the circumstances. "I see guys in my team who can assess the situation well and I don't have the feeling at all that we are satisfied."
Bayern plan a complete success
Similar to the last game against Munich, it will be much more about "reaching our performance limits". Against the record champions, his team came very close to its ideal image, Svensson said. "For the game we were very close to our plan. We knew we had to defend well at the back, and that was the case," the ex-professional explained the thinking ahead of the game. "If you want to annoy Bayern, you have to do it when you have the strength to do it, because it's often long distances to the goal and you have to work hard against the ball. We narrowed the pitch, had ball conquests, played bravely and also condensed the spaces up front. All these components worked," was the coach's analysis four days after the match. From now on, however, the focus is exclusively on Hertha and the next chance to add to the points tally.
And, of course, to continue to create a good atmosphere among the Zerofiver fans, who are still sorely missed in the stadium. Whether he receives pats on the back in his private life, for example in the supermarket? "Since the matches cannot take place in the stadium, the 'real' world is the only option at the moment," Svensson explained. Of course, one hears the odd positive comment here and there, which he is happy about, even though it is not the same as on site at Mainz's home ground: "I would be much happier if we could all see each other in the stadium again."
Those who know me, know what makes me tick
In a stadium where the head coach, who has been in office since January, still has a lot of plans, as he emphasised once again. On Tuesday, rumours had surfaced that the Mainz coach might have aroused the interest of league rivals Leipzig. His response in this context could hardly have been clearer: "That would be a bit wild if RB, as a club that wants to play for the German championship, were to give a coach the chance who has only managed 16 Bundesliga games. I take that calmly, because I know how they think at RB," the 05 coach replied, but followed it up with much more decisive sentences. "I sat here in the arena a few months ago and said that my main task is not to stay in the league or to win the next game, but to build something here in the long term. So it would be strange if I now said after four months: 'Now everything has turned upside down'. Those who know me know what makes me tick and I stand by that. After all, I signed a long-term contract," said Svensson, who is not in the mood for a new beginning and has a contract at Bruchweg that runs until 2024. "I see my future in Mainz, I am very happy and we have a lot planned." No further questions.