The supporters who had traveled with them insulted the TSG Hoffenheim pros and whistled at them after the 13th Bundesliga game without a win in a row.
"The fans wanted to give us their opinion, that's absolutely justified. They demand 100% unconditional commitment," said Hoffenheim midfielder Christoph Baumgartner after the 0-1 (0-1) loss at FSV Mainz 05. "There was a lot of commitment, but if the fans say Mainz does it more, then there will be something to it." Everyone must now know what is at stake: With only 19 points after 23 games and 16th place in the table, the fear of relegation is increasing.
After the sixth league defeat in a row, sports director Alexander Rosen urgently appealed to the players to fight back after falling from fourth place after ten matchdays to the bottom of the table. "Anyone who now negates the situation and does not accept it is out of place," he warned. "We have to accept, reflect for ourselves, take responsibility and get out of the victim role."
Perseverance slogan from coach Matarazzo
Thomas Delaney put it more practically: "We're on a bad downward spiral. We need a win for self-confidence." Easier said than done. The new coach Pellegrino Matarazzo has not found out how this could succeed in the four defeats under his direction. "It always hurts that we have a few defeats," said the 45-year-old successor to André Breitenreiter, adding a slogan of perseverance: "You have to deal with it and get back up."
His idea of preventing another crash and turning the tide at SC Freiburg in one week was a bit puzzling: "It could be profitable to change something fundamentally. In terms of the structure, how the game is set up." This should give his protégés the feeling "that something is happening and that you have a new chance".
TSG again sloppy on a set piece
Against Mainz, on the other hand, there was a lack of structure, clever play structure and, as a consequence, great chances. Nevertheless, Baumgartner is convinced: "We are not going down."
What particularly angered Matarazzo was that the defeat was once again caused by a neglect of a set piece. "It's the third time in a row and it's the same pattern," he said. Defensive standards are about pure discipline, it's a "matter of attitude".
Leandro Barreiro (33rd minute) scored the Mainz goal in his 100th Bundesliga game for the fourth win in a row. With the success and 35 points, the Rheinhessen no longer need to look down, but hope to make it into the European Cup. "Anything is possible," said 05 sporting director Martin Schmidt. "It's allowed to talk about it," said winger Danny da Costa. "I enjoy looking at the table - also like looking up."