"The team needs to understand"
Achim Beierlorzer calls for more focus and responsibility after Gladbach defeat.
The plan for the start of the week had originally been to work on set pieces. However, the icy wind and rain showers on Tuesday morning forced Achim Beierlorzer to switch up his training session. Instead of standing around in the cold to practice defending corners and free kicks, the Zerofivers’ head coach got his squad moving with some open play scenarios designed to make the players compete. “It was horrible outside today,” he said after the session. “We had to make sure we kept our players healthy.”
Third-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach secured a win over Mainz at the weekend with two goals following set pieces on the right wing. “We did our video analysis after the game and, of course, made it very clear that we should not be defending set pieces like that. It cost us the game,” explained the head coach after the first training session of the week.
“It’s not down to a lack of desire”
Gladbach striker Alessane Plea was there to take advantage of Mainz’s lack of concentration twice, first cancelling out Robin Quaison’s stunning strike, before firing the hosts into the lead in the 76th minute. Both came from free kick crosses from the right side of the pitch. “With 15 minutes to go, it felt like we could get something from the game. We can’t be throwing games away like that,” said Beierlorzer. The coach has ensured his players understand that, but also wanted to highlight the things they did well at BORUSSIA-PARK. “We just have to focus more. If you look at our last three games, the results could have been completely different if we were a bit more decisive and took responsibility in defence,” explained the boss. “The team has to work on that.” And practice it constantly.
The squad are yet to figure out the reasons for their lapses in concentration that have cost them recently. “It’s all just speculative,” said Beierlozer. “It’s certainly not an issue of lacking desire. However, it is true that we weren’t as alert as we should’ve been. We know that that shouldn’t be the case and that we made it too easy for the opponent. We need to address that.”
Excitement for Bayern clash
As well as working on what went wrong against Gladbach, the team have also begun preparing for the upcoming game against FC Bayern Munich in the OPEL ARENA. “It’s a nice challenge,” said Beierlozer jokingly, “playing against Bayern in the form they’re in at the moment isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. Nevertheless, we will give it our all. We can’t start the week feeling sorry for ourselves, or view it as a game that we can throw away. If we get something from it, it’s amazing, but if we don’t then that’s just how it is,” the coach said about the game.
“We’re really looking forward to this game. It’s a home game in front of a sold-out crowd. Everyone has the chance to show what they can do. And we can show how good we are as a team as well. We have nothing to lose. I’m always one to say that you should be excited for these games, and always look at the positives. We should aim to win, rather than being afraid of losing. That will only hold us back. We know what our goal is.” Staying above the relegation zone after matchday 34; that’s what it’s all about.