It goes without saying that the heavy defeat to Wolfsburg on Friday night had an effect on the players and the coaching staff. This week in training, however, the team has looked to move on from the disappointing night in Lower-Saxony by focussing on its strengths. A tough test awaits Mainz this weekend, as Bundesliga champions FC Bayern are in town. Despite the desire to push forward, the performance shown against Wolfsburg is still difficult for Robin Zentner to comprehend. The goalkeeper had to pick the ball out of his net five times as Mainz suffered their heaviest defeat of the season. “It was a bit of a shock and it’s not easy to process. We were super disappointed and also angry with ourselves,” said the 27-year-old. Despite the bitterness, Zentner is still confident that his team can put things right as the season reaches its climax.
Everything seemed to go wrong in the opening 45 minutes against Wolfsburg. “We were shell-shocked when we went 2-0 down. It was as if we’d forgotten how to play. It was a complete failure in the first half. We were all at sea and didn’t react quickly enough,” said Robin Zentner. He also added that although Mainz were more solid in the second half, the fact they didn’t conceded again was also down to VfL lacking a cutting edge.
Now that a few days have passed, attention can turn to the game on Saturday, when record champions FC Bayern will visit the MEWA ARENA. “The last two days of training were better. We gave it a lot of intensity and also had some fun. We are hoping for a better performance against Bayern,” said the keeper. Above all, he added, the defence, which has been solid for most of the season, needs to be solidified once more. The MEWA ARENA is sold out for the first time in almost two years, giving the players another incentive to give their best. “Our hands will be full on Saturday. Bayern play an attacking brand of football and have some really dangerous players. We need to do what the fans expect of us and play well,” said Zentner.
“I think that there is still a lot to play for”
The Zerofivers guaranteed their safety just under a fortnight ago against VfB Stuttgart. Although he is happy that his side’s Bundesliga status has been preserved, Zentner is still not fully satisfied with performances in recent weeks. “It’s not just the Wolfsburg match. The games before that dampened our mood somewhat. We feel we could’ve done a bit more this season.”
Zentner and his teammates are determined to end the season on a positive note and win as many points as they can from the final games against Bayern, Hertha and Eintracht. Regardless of league position, the goalkeeper believes that there is still plenty to achieve this season: “I think that there is still a lot to play for. We want to end the season on a high and start our preparations for next year.”