Mainz (dpa) – While 1. FC Cologne is happily starting at the end of the year thanks to “King Elvis” and his brilliant Advent series, FSV Mainz 05 is already in a crisis mood.
Sports director Rouven Schröder was well served after the bitter 0: 1 in the relegation duel. “With a little luck we will not stay in the competition, we have to work hard and hit the ball with absolute conviction. We are missing that last conviction at the moment,” complained Schröder. The starting point for the remaining three competitive games is now, “Talk less, just do it!”
Such as 1. FC Köln, which scored big points in the basement on Saturday thanks to match winner Elvis Rexhbecaj and with seven points from the past three games, placed a firm cushion between themselves and the dropped players of Mainz and Schalke. “Now we are going home happy,” said coach Markus Gisdol, who was criticized at the start after eight games without a win, before surprisingly winning with his team in Dortmund and continuing the fine run against Wolfsburg and Mainz.
Gisdol praised the hero of the day with the cool nickname “King Elvis” in particular: “Elvis is a very valuable player to us. He’s not bad for himself. He lives football. He lives our game.” The 23-year-old goalscorer emphasized that he naturally heard jokes about his first name more often. For his second goal of the season, Rexhbecaj did not want an extra award. “I don’t want to be featured as a goalscorer today. I don’t care who scores the goal. We’ll take the three points home. That’s important,” he said.
Mainz, on the other hand, believed they were on the mend after the historic false start, but shortly before Christmas, they scored five points and still without a home win on the direct relegation places. The defeats against direct competitors Bielefeld and Cologne are of great concern to the Rheinhessen. Joker Kevin Stöger said: “Even without fans, we have to get at least one point here. We didn’t, so it was a lousy game from my point of view.” The five counters are negative in the previous history of the Mainz Bundesliga.
The situation is also critical for coach Jan-Moritz Lichte, who took over from Achim Beierlorzer after two match days. The 40-year-old speaks of a “relegation battle”, which is also due to the fact that the former assistant could not stop the negative trend in the 05ers quickly enough. Ahead of the important English week with games in Berlin and against Bremen, Schröder’s call should also be aimed at light. “We still have two games in which six points can be collected,” said the referee.
The Mainz team envies FC not only for the current series, but also for the first clear game of this Bundesliga season. “The fact that we didn’t get a goal today makes the victory all the more beautiful”, said Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn. Mainz has to wait for this joy.