In his press conference ahead of the Mainz game, Dieter Hecking spoke about...
... squad news: Ibrahima Traoré (groin), Josip Drmic (thigh), and Mamadou Doucouré (thigh) are definitely out for the game. Matthias Ginter also has a muscle problem in his thigh, and these haven’t gone away yet, so he still wasn’t free of pain yesterday. I think we’ll decide today or tomorrow at the latest whether he’ll be fit enough for Saturday. We won’t take any risks with him. If the medical staff don’t give the green light, he won’t be playing in Mainz.
... recent results: We’re not pleased that we’ve only got one point from the last four games. We made too many mistakes against Wolfsburg and Bayern, and our opponents punished us. We have to cut out these mistakes. It’s not something we can change at the touch of a button. If we think that we won’t make any more mistakes on Saturday just because we’ve spoken about it, then we’re naive. We’ve worked on one or two things with the team, and they’ve looked at them self-critically. But now we’re not looking back anymore, we have to focus on looking forward. Whether it works depends on whether we can do certain things better. We’re all responsible for that. We’ve got to defend better as a team and everyone has to work a little harder, we’ve maybe been lacking that recently.
... strong away form: In the Hinrunde, I was asked why it wasn’t going so well away from home. Now we’re playing better away but not well at home anymore. That’s football. You can’t always explain everything, and I can’t pretend that I know how to explain everything. It’s good that we’ve got seven points from our three away games in the Rückrunde so far, but there’s no guarantee that we’ll win in Mainz. We have to work to do that. We have to do more as a team to be successful again. We have to get rid of the carelessness, be mindful in our play, and commit to our tackles. That’s the key. We have to find our penetration and efficiency going forward that we’ve shown this season again. We’ve had enough chances in the last few games.
... the upcoming opponents: In Mainz’s last home game against Schalke, they showed all the characteristics that we want to show on Saturday: a lot of passion, a lot of running, and intensity in tackles. This team shows all of that. They’ve taken a leap forward this season due to the quality of their squad, but they’ve lost four out of their last five games. That shows that they’re not always solid and they can also fall into troughs. I’m positive that they’ll do all they can to win on Saturday.
... Raffael’s contract extension: Raffael has put in outstanding performances for Borussia is the last few years and he’s a player that can make the difference. He showed at the start of the season what he can still give us footballing-wise. Then he unfortunately suffered an injury, but now he’s an important player for us again. He’s quite introverted, so he brings assurance to the others just with his presence. I’m very glad that he’s signed on for another year. I hope that Raffa can stay injury-free and he can show everyone that he’s got a few years left in him.