Marco Rose offered his condolences to FSV Mainz following his squad's 3-2 comeback victory over the last-place Pfälzer on Saturday.
The 44-year-old former Nullfünfter knows exactly what it feels like to lose one's first five games of the season.
"I experienced the best part of my footballing career here," Gladbach trainer Marco Rose reminded reporters after his foals handed FSV Mainz their fifth loss of the young 2020/21 campaign. Rose spent the bulk of his career playing for the Rheinhessen carnival club, making 150 appearances 199 appearances for both the first and second teams.
Rose's time with Mainz also taught him valuable lessons in the struggles with adversity. As universally lauded as Jürgen Klopp has become, many forget that the his 2005/06 squad also began the campaign with five consecutive losses. They were relegated the following year and it took Klopp two more seasons to get the club back into Germany's top flight.
The Gladbach coach words flowed with the cadence of an old friend when offering Mainz some therapeutic advice. "It's most important to emanate positive energy, remain positive, and work hard," Rose said, "It's important that the lads begin to believe in themselves."
The Mainz administrators expressed disappointment at being sucker punched by two former players. In addition to Rose, there was also former midfielder Jonas Hofmann, who scored the tying goal via a penalty and supplied Mattias Ginter with the assist on the winning tally. Hofmann made many team-of-the-week selections.
"I had the feeling that they [his team] were hanging their heads down low and becoming afraid," interim trainer Jan Moritz Lichte said when describing how his team played following the equalizer, "We're angry that it turned out this way and that we couldn't make our efforts worth it."
A debilitating loss after the team's best played match of the season is sure to have damaging effects on the squad's psyche. Sporting director Rouven Schröder put a positive spin on the performance, noting that the team remained "completely competitive". In referencing the narrow loss to Leverkusen in round four, Schröder praised the team for two consecutive "attractive performances."
"[these games] demonstrate to us that we are up for the challenge and will not let our current position in the table drag us down," Schröder said, "Mainz will never give up."