Mainz (dpa) – The coach looks battered, the sports director is frustrated and the players blame each other. The sports crisis at FSV Mainz 05 is getting worse – there cannot be a reflective Christmas party for the penultimate in the Bundesliga.

“You get the feeling that not everyone knows what this is about”, defender Alexander Hack complained after the bitter 1-0 (0-0) in the cellar match against Werder Bremen. “We are in a relegation battle. Everyone has to be clear about what that means for the club during the winter break. Nobody wants to go to the second division. Everyone must be aware of this and adopt a different attitude.”

The Rheinhessen took just six points from 13 games – the weakest result in the club’s history. The hole with the relegation place is already four points. The first relegation in 14 years is imminent when the 05er under cult coach Jürgen Klopp could not keep the class for the only time so far. “We should not kid ourselves, it was certainly not enough until now,” said sports director Rouven Schröder. “It will be very difficult in the Bundesliga in that form.”

Coach Jan-Moritz Lichte, who took over the post in September after divorce from Achim Beierlorzer, seems to be overwhelmed by the precarious situation. The 40-year-old fled in persistence after the renewed low blow. “We have to find a better balance between defensive and offensive,” said Lichte.

Against the previous nine games in a row without a win for Bremen, for whom 19-year-old Bundesliga debutant Eren Dinkci scored in the 90th minute just 262 seconds after being substituted, it was not only missing. “We weren’t brave enough. The basic things that make us strong, work against the ball and then switch offensively, were not enough to win the game,” said Hack. “Everyone has to wonder if they were one hundred percent in every situation. I think we weren’t.”

Just like the defender, Schröder also lacked the absolute will to win the eminently important game. “In the second half, the feeling that we really wanted to win the game evaporated,” said the 45-year-old. “That is absolutely disappointing and needs to be addressed. We need time to process the situation and we cannot leave it that way.”

The central question is: is Light the right man to successfully lead the Mainz team through the relegation battle? In the DFB Cup against VfL Bochum next Wednesday, he will definitely be back on the bench – but what happens next? Light yourself hides the subject. “I don’t really care what happens to me,” he said, adding, “I’m not happy with the points I got and try to work on it and do things better.”

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