Mainz (dpa) – The view of the sparse ranks made Rouven Schröder even happier than FSV Mainz 05’s participation in the 2nd round of the DFB Cup.
“I was very happy when I came to the stadium and saw the fans,” said the Bundesliga club manager after the difficult 5: 1 (0: 1) against fourth division club TSV Havelse. “Those were pure goosebumps.”
For the first time in six months, the 05ers did not have to play a competitive game in front of empty stands – even though the 1,000 spectators admitted in the 34,000-seat arena looked a bit lost. “We are still a long way from normality. But it is a very important first step,” said FSV coach Achim Beierlorzer. “We hope to be able to play again for all our fans soon.”
Even the first Bundesliga home game against newly promoted VfB Stuttgart on September 26 saw 3,400 fans in attendance after the state government allowed football clubs in Rhineland-Palatinate a stadium tax of ten percent on Friday. An increase to 20 percent is conceivable for the near future, Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) announced. However, the decision is up to the responsible health department.
The executives in Mainz were less happy with the largely incorrect presentation of the team. “We still have a lot to do in defense, so we need to improve,” said Schröder. After all, the 05er must play next Sunday for the Bundesliga opener with the semi-finalists of the Champions League and the third RB Leipzig of last year. “We have to be better behind”, said the sports director.
Beierlorzer also noticed that there was still a lot to do. But there were also bright spots. In the goal, Robin Zentner justified his nomination as No. 1 for the 2020/21 season with some brilliant saves. “But it wasn’t planned that way. We were too open and naive in the back. That shouldn’t happen to us in the competition,” said the 25-year-old. “Giving so many chances against such an opponent should be a warning to us.”
And at the top, Jean-Philippe Mateta proved his scoring risk with a three-pack. “When more rooms were created, you saw the strengths,” praised Beierlorzer. “I’m glad he scored three times. That gives him a boost.”